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iCell completes its second plant to produce single-cell protein

Thursday, July 18, 2019


iCell Sustainable Nutrition Co., Hong Kong, and Shandong Zhonggu Starch Sugar Co. of China (SZSS) completed their full-scale production facility that will convert nutrients previously lost in the process water into a single-cell protein (SCP) for use in animal feeds.

iCell Sustainable Nutrition is a Hong Kong-based technology company that holds more than 50 patents throughout the world for the production and use of SCPs for use in animal and plant nutrition. The facility in Shandong is the second full-scale, single-cell protein production facility for the company in China, which increases their production capacity to several thousand tons/year.

As a large-scale processor of corn starch in China, SZSS produces 3,000,000 tons of products annually. Every day, the production facility generates more than 10,000 tons/day of nutrient-laden water that requires treatment and disposal, with costs exceeding $300,000 (USD) annually. By converting these discarded nutrients in the effluent water into single-cell proteins for use with animal feed, iCell is helping create sustainable environmental and economic benefits for SZSS.  

Producers of animal feedstock are becoming more interested in single-cell protein and beneficial bacteria because it possesses a low raw-material cost, yet has a high nutritional value, making it an ideal product to compensate for a shortage of high-quality protein in feedstock. “The SCP contains high levels of proteins with excellent amino acid profiles and nucleotide content, making it a more cost-effective supplement for animal feed than fish meal. We’ve also found that the SCP from iCell improves an animal’s ability to absorb the proteins and improves feed conversion ratios because SCP does not contain antigens typically found in plant proteins like soybean meal, making it excellent for aquaculture applications,” said Hellen Wang, a senior nutritionist at iCell.  

To generate single-cell protein products, the nutrient-rich water is run through advanced and patented iCell technologies, such as rapid control fermentation, cell-wall breaking enzymolysis, instantaneous air drying, sterilizing and other processes.  

iCell has been commercially producing SCP’s for several years and anticipates significant growth in the next 3-5 years with additional projects already in various stages of implementation in multiple countries around the world.


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