A consortium of UK scientists and industry partners has been awarded co-funding of almost £2.6m from the Technology Strategy Board that could provide major benefits to the Scottish aqua- and agriculture industries as well as improving sustainability of farming in the UK.
A simple, low cost process will separate faba beans into a protein concentrate, suitable for use in salmon feeds, and a starch concentrate for use in pig and poultry feeds and thus replace imported soy protein, soybean meal and fishmeal. In addition the increased culture of beans will result in major reductions in the use of artificial fertilizers, which are made from fossil fuels, and instead rely on the nitrogen fixing properties of beans as a natural fertilizer and soil improver. Not only does this reduce fertilizer costs for the farmers but also has significant environmental benefits related to reduced carbon and nitrogen usage. The project will also investigate the development of new bean strains specifically targeted to salmon production that requires higher-protein levels and lower anti-nutritional compounds than products used for non-ruminant animal production.
The four year project is lead by EWOS Ltd based near Bathgate and involves five other industrial partners, BioMar Ltd, WN Lindsay, Limagrain, Marine Harvest (Scotland) Ltd and Harbro Ltd, and five academic partners, The Universities of Stirling, Aberdeen and St-Andrews, The James Hutton Institute and the Scottish Agricultural College.
[Source: The Universities of Stirling Institute of Aquaculture]