3F BIO launches biorefinery facility

29 Jul 2019

3F BIO, along with a consortium of nine other partners, has announced the launch of a project (known as ‘PLENITUDE’) to build a first-of-its-kind, large-scale, integrated biorefinery facility to produce proteins for food from low-cost sustainable feedstocks.

The project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 838104.

3F BIO launches biorefinery facility

The project is being developed with lead industrial partner Alcogroup and will be based in the city of Ghent, in Belgium. The plant is co-funded by 3F BIO and the European Commission under the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), who are investing €17m.

Jim Laird, CEO 3F BIO, said: “3F BIO are delighted that the consortium has been awarded this grant. The problem of feeding a rapidly growing population and the continued demand for protein presents a high-level strategic issue. This project addresses this challenge by combining the benefits of biotechnology and the use of natural processes to support the efficient manufacturing of sustainable protein.”

The European Parliament has previously highlighted that “The EU is currently suffering from a major deficit in protein production and is dependent on imports from third countries.” These factors create an urgent need for technology breakthroughs to increase local protein production.

PLENITUDE brings together 10 key players in the bioeconomy spanning five EU member states and representing every link in the value chain. This includes expertise in primary processing and industrial operations (Alcogroup), biotechnology (3F BIO), product development and applications (International Flavors & Fragrances), primary research and protein expertise (Wageningen University) a specialist consultant covering marketing and sustainability (Bridge 2 Food, Life Cycle Engineering), and three end-users covering food categories (Mosa Meat, Vivera, ABP) as well as one end-user covering bio-plastics (Lactips).

The project addresses the protein challenge by integrating two established processes into a flagship, large-scale, first-of-its-kind, biorefinery producing bioethanol and sustainable food protein. The process takes a proportion of the sustainable cereal crops that feed the biorefinery to create a feedstock for the fermentation process that produces ABUNDA® mycoprotein [1].

The global consumption of “meat” protein currently totals around 500 million tonnes per year, with less than 1% derived from non-animal sources. Experts including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) predict that the demand for non-animal proteins may increase to account for 10-20% of the growing total demand, which would create a need for 100-200 million tonnes of plant protein by 2050.

With initial output capacity of 16k tonnes per annum, this flagship project will increase the availability of sustainable, high-quality food protein. The collaboration between the biorefinery operator, food producers and technology providers will create new cross-sector interconnections, new bio-based value chains, and new bio-based ‘consumer’ products.

The project includes a full assessment of the environmental, economic, health and social impacts of the developed products or processes, using LCA/LCC/S-LCA methodologies based on available standards to validate the sustainability and food safety of the products and value chain. Based on a target to produce 1 million tonnes of protein by 2030, it is estimated that this could equate to a reduction of >5 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Related categories

Related tags

Innovation

Related news

Israeli cell-based meat company Meat Tech 3D files for U.S. IPO

Israeli cell-based meat company Meat Tech 3D files for U.S. IPO

12 Nov 2020

Israeli cell-based meat company, Meat-Tech 3D, is a relative newcomer to the industry but is making up for lost time with a flurry of activity. Most recently, the company filed its paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to begin the...

Read more 
Coca-Cola reveals its new paper bottle prototype

Coca-Cola reveals its new paper bottle prototype

11 Nov 2020

Atlanta-based beverage company Coca-Cola announced that it is testing a paper bottle prototype this month for both still and carbonated beverages. While this prototype will be tested in limited markets, Coca-Cola said that it is “too early” to specific...

Read more 
Plant-based food maker Alpha Foods launches DTC platform

Plant-based food maker Alpha Foods launches DTC platform

10 Nov 2020

California-based Alpha Foods launched its direct-to-consumer (DTC) platform in the U.S. to take advantage of the growing market for plant-based and e-commerce delivery options. The company's products will also continue to be sold at brick and mortar re...

Read more 
Tesco’s new incubator program heavily features plant-based companies

Tesco’s new incubator program heavily features plant-based companies

30 Oct 2020

Tesco is in its fourth year of hosting an incubator program for startup consumer packaged brands, and this year, the cohort features a substantial list of plant-based brands that will receive institutional support from the supermarket chain and its pan...

Read more 
Walmart and Flipkart invest $30M in Indian e-commerce platform

Walmart and Flipkart invest $30M in Indian e-commerce platform

27 Oct 2020

The U.S. retail giant Walmart and India’s grocery e-commerce company Flipkart (which is majority-owned by Walmart) invested for the second time this year in the Indian delivery startup Ninjacart. Although the companies did not disclose their financial ...

Read more 
UK invests in insect farms, accelerating development of sustainable protein

UK invests in insect farms, accelerating development of sustainable protein

23 Oct 2020

In its quest to promote sustainable agriculture, the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) provided London startup Entocycle £10 million ($12.9 million) for the construction of the country’s first large-scale industrial insect farm ...

Read more 
Kellogg’s pilots cereal boxes designed for the blind in the UK

Kellogg’s pilots cereal boxes designed for the blind in the UK

22 Oct 2020

With research revealing that 9 in 10 people that are visually impaired find it difficult or impossible to read the information on food packaging, Kellogg chose to alter its packaging to make that information more accessible to a larger demographic.

Read more 
myAir delivers stress reduction through nutrition

myAir delivers stress reduction through nutrition

19 Oct 2020

Israeli-based myAir is a new startup that is focusing on controlling stress through nutrition. The brand, which produces plant-based snack bars, has six functional blends that were developed using AI to combat a number of the most prevalent physiologic...

Read more 
Jelly Belly sweetens the deal with premium chocolate

Jelly Belly sweetens the deal with premium chocolate

22 Sep 2020

When it comes to candy, Jelly Belly has been there done that. To keep things fresh, this brand, which is known for its flavorful jelly beans, is branching out of its niche and introducing gourmet chocolate truffles and chocolate bars.

Read more 
Tastewise, the AI-powered food intelligence solution, launches in the UK

Tastewise, the AI-powered food intelligence solution, launches in the UK

21 Sep 2020

AI-powered platform Tastewise predicts the way consumers order, cook and eat through analyzing restaurant menus, social media interactions and online home recipes. After debuting in the U.S. last year, the insights company is now launching in the UK.

Read more