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Foods of Norway hits milestone in alternative feed ingredient production


September 10, 2021
By Hatchery International Staff

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Foods of Norway has hit a milestone, reaching a successful industrial scale-up of 1,600 kilograms of yeast produced from the sugars of Norwegian spruce trees. This specific type of yeast is a high-quality feed ingredient that can replace imported protein, and will be used in large-scale feeding trials with Atlantic salmon and pigs.

The production was a joint effort by biorefinery company, Borregaard, which produced the sugar; Lallemand Animal Nutrition’s Estonia-based production site, which grew the yeast; and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU); all partners in Foods of Norway at NMBU.

“We are entering an exciting phase where we will be evaluating yeast in diets for salmon in seawater and for piglets under farm conditions,” said Professor Margareth Øverland, the head of Foods of Norway. “Our work in Foods of Norway follows the entire value chain, from the tree biomass to the final meat and fish products. The larger-scale trials will provide important information on how these novel feeds will affect the growth, health and product quality of the animals, as well as the production cost and sustainability of using these ingredients,” she continued.

Yeast is a microbial protein source with a protein content of 50 to 60 per cent. A main area of Foods of Norway’s expertise is to develop yeast as a local feed ingredient produced from renewable natural resources, such as by-products from the forestry and food industries.

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“It is very exciting and unique that laboratory results can be directly applied and scaled up by the industry. The research and development performed in Foods of Norway has clearly shown how biotechnology can be used to develop novel sustainable feed ingredients,” said Professor Svein Jarle Horn, head of the Foods of Norway team responsible for the yeast fermentation research at NMBU. “We are proud of this important milestone on our journey towards the development of alternative feed ingredients using local Norwegian resources,” said Mathieu Castex, director of R&D at Lallemand Animal Nutrition. “There is still a lot to be done before commercial development can be realised, but this achievement reinforces the technical feasibility of the concept developed through Foods of Norway towards a more sustainable feed production.”