The Dutch government has rewarded 5 projects with funding for a second phase (development) commission. This is part of the call for making food production more sustainable.
In 2050 9 billion people have to be fed. Making food production more sustainable is crucial for food security. Especially for the Netherlands as second-largest agricultural exporter in the world. Through a specific SBIR call 5 submitters can put their ideas for (re)use of resources into practice.
Efficient use of resources is important for sustainable food production. Hence the 'Top sector Agri & Food' launched a call together with the state secretary of economic affairs in 2014.
Can entrepreneurs come with proposals to reduce waste and increase utilisation of waste streams? This call resulted in 78 proposals. 16 projects were funded for executing a feasibility study. Now the five most promising projects were selected. They started this December with the development of their innovation.
For the selection of the five projects the assessment committee looked at the impact of the solution amongst others. To what extend do the projects contribute to more efficient use of resources, minimizing waste stream production or high quality use of waste streams? The five convinced also by involving strong chain partners in the project. And their concept has economic perspective: the possibilities for up scaling are promising.
One of the winning projects is Provalor. 'We came up with a concept to extract high quality proteins from vegetable residues' says one of the initiators Piet Nell. 'This involves the so called Rubisco protein. This is a better alternative for animal protein than for instance soy. It is present in very low concentrations in green leaf and for this reason has never been exploited. We have developed an innovative approach together with TNO and the Wageningen University, which makes our concept so favorable.
The potential impact for our concept for the world food supply in protein is large. More over we expect to make a profit within about three years after scaling up our production.
Cholesterol from fish processing
Dishman also works on a solution for the global demand for animal proteins, explains director Mark Ipema. 'Shrimp and fish can supply this. An important component of their food is cholesterol. That is mainly in animal material. We have found an alternative source of cholesterol in the residue of fat processing. This is a sizable waste stream for energy production in the Netherlands. Our feasibility showed that this cholesterol can be applied as ingredient in shrimp food. We will investigate the application in fish food in the second phase.'