NETHERLANDS- Global human and animal nutrition specialist DSM-Firmenich has unveiled a groundbreaking advancement: new single-cell proteins (SCP) with the capability to generate net-zero carbon proteins. 

This development is set to play a crucial role in enhancing the sustainability of food systems by reducing the dependency on traditional inputs associated with animal production, such as fertilizers, deforestation, and excessive water usage.

In a press release, the company emphasized that SCPs present a game-changing solution by reducing the land and water footprint needed for animal farming and aligning with global warming targets of limiting the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

SCPs, powered by fermentation technology, are protein production powerhouses with significant scalability potential. They boast high growth rates and efficient protein production relative to their initial weight.

These microorganisms, produced through fermentation, possess the inherent capability to transform platform molecules into proteins, providing a feasible substitute for traditional animal feed components like fishmeal, wheat gluten, soy, or pea protein concentrates. 

SCPs offer a readily available, protein-rich microbial biomass in the form of yeast, bacteria, or fungi, achieved by harnessing biotechnology and advanced bioscience to optimize their protein production and enhance nutritional value.

SCP’s advantages are numerous, including shorter generation times, versatility in feedstocks or substrates, no land requirements, continuous year-round production globally, and maintaining animal performance at levels comparable to traditional feeds.

Beyond their nutritional value, single-cell proteins (SCPs) also distinguish themselves as low carbon-intensive microbial proteins, effectively addressing the imminent protein demand gap without contributing to the food system’s carbon footprint. 

Moreover, they hold the potential for achieving net-zero carbon emissions and resource utilization during production.

Exciting results from a feeding trial on salmonids at the DSM Bioscience Centre in Delft, the Netherlands, showcased SCP’s excellent performance compared to feeds containing fish meal and soy protein concentrate. 

Rainbow trout showed no adverse effects on performance, as measured by final body weight when single-cell protein (SCP) was included in varying proportions, replacing a combination of fish meal and soy protein concentrate.

Net-zero SCPs emerge as part of a rapidly growing US$4 billion animal feed alternative protein market, projected to double in size within the next decade. 

This innovation represents a significant opportunity to provide essential nutrients for our food systems while advancing sustainability.

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