Skretting testing eniferBio's novel protein ingredient

The Finnish biotech startup is testing its Pekilo mycoprotein in salmon feeds in the R&D facilities at Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) in Norway.

Skretting testing eniferBio’s novel protein ingredient
The eniferBio team. From left to right: Anssi Rantasalo, Joosu Kuivanen, Simo Ellilä, Heikki Keskitalo and Ville Pihlajaniemi.
May 6, 2021

Skretting is one step closer to validating a new ingredient and reaching the Sustainability RoadMap 2025 ambition. eniferBio, the Finnish biotech startup and winner of the 2020 Nutreco Feed & Food Tech Challenge, completed process piloting trials and began the next phase - testing its Pekilo mycoprotein in its R&D facilities at Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) in Norway.

“We have been working closely with the eniferBio team to support them and help speed up the process to receive a commercially relevant novel ingredient for the first validation at our salmon R&D facilities in Norway,” said Jenna Bowyer, category manager Novel Ingredients, Skretting. “Our desktop assessment verified the potential of this ingredient to be an alternative protein source to marine and soy proteins in our aquafeeds. This is another example of Skretting’s commitment to identifying, developing and commercializing novel ingredients that can have a positive contribution to the sustainability of the aquaculture industry.”

To produce the quantity required for Skretting testing, eniferBio teamed up with Tereos, a global leader in the sugar, alcohol and starch markets. Tereos provided the raw material for the trial, in the form of vinasse, a byproduct from the production of ethanol from beet molasses. The process of eniferBio allows the efficient conversion of dilute side streams such as vinasse into a valuable protein ingredient for aquafeed.

“This is a very important step for us as we re-establish the Pekilo production process as a major source of aquafeed protein,” said Simo Ellilä, CEO of eniferBio. “We believe the process is unique in offering a cost-competitive, sustainable alternative to soy protein concentrate. The process is very scalable, and Pekilo can be produced close to the end-users – promising to decrease dependence on imported protein. This pilot trial is an excellent example of bringing together the whole value chain in Europe. It has been an absolute pleasure making this happen with the great teams at Tereos and Skretting.”

The Pekilo protein now continues into salmon feeding trials at Skretting ARC, in Stavanger, Norway.

Last year, eniferBio won the Nutreco Feed & Food Tech Challenge. The competition acknowledges the best breakthrough innovations within livestock farming, aquaculture and alternative food proteins, and is hosted by Nutreco, Skretting’s parent company. The grand prize included a scientific validation trial, and Skretting is running the first tests with this product with the ultimate aim of commercialization. As part of Nutreco’s ambitious Sustainability RoadMap launched earlier this year, Skretting has committed to include 5-10% of ingredients from alternative novel sources by 2025.

Read more about Pekilo protein in this article in Aquafeed Magazine.