Finnish startup eniferBio became a partner of Foods of Norway, a Centre for Research-based Innovation (CRI) hosted by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), and aims to develop sustainable feed ingredients from local and renewable natural resources. One of the main objectives is to produce yeast from tree biomass to be used as a sustainable protein source in feed for both agriculture and aquaculture is one of the main objectives.
“eniferBio’s expertise fits perfectly into our value chain,” said Foods of Norway’s center director, professor Margareth Øverland. “They specialize in the profitable and sustainable production of single-cell protein from resources we have a lot of in Norway, our forests. Foods of Norway aims to develop technology that can contribute to profitable production, and eniferBio produces single-cell protein with cheaper substrates and side streams than we are able to today. Our new partner can help create the market we hope will be established for single-cell protein as an ingredient in feed. I also believe that we can be a valuable partner for eniferBio, as we possess extensive knowledge and documentation of the nutritional value and beneficial health effects of single-cell protein.”
Based on methods stemming back to the 1970s, the startup has developed a new and sustainable production process for a high-quality fish feed ingredient, using cheaper substrates and side-streams from the forest industry for an economically viable process.
“It is a well-validated process,” said CEO and CTO of eniferBio, Simo Ellilä. “We already had the know-how and resources, and with new biotechnology, we have improved the process and the product. A key enabler for this venture has been that we have been able to increase the protein content in the product.”
Ellilä explained how their process, along with the availability of biorefinery side streams throughout Europe, could really make an impact when it comes to self-sufficiency and less need to import feed ingredients from other parts of the world. This leads to a higher level of sustainability, one of the main drivers for the startup company.
“We want to develop our product towards fish feed, and Norway is the biggest salmon producer in the world. That is motivation in itself. But also, between the vast expertise in biorefinery and aquaculture among the center’s partners, and with NMBU driving this as a high-level research institution, we are very excited to take part in the research in Foods of Norway,” Ellilä said.