The BIOFEED project develops basic research and methods to produce feed from non-food biomass, such as woody biomass from spruce trees and macroalgae. The project is aligned with several other ongoing projects, including the Centre for Research-based Innovation, Foods of Norway and the NorZymD project.
About the project
We develop novel salmon feed by integrating bioprocessing of non-food biomass and bioprocessing technologies to exploit woody biomass, such as spruce trees and cultivated brown macroalgae (Saccharina latissima and Alaria esculenta) as sustainable supply of high-quality proteins in feed for Atlantic salmon.
We address pre-processing techniques and enzymatic hydrolysis to convert cellulose and hemicellulose from the wood biomass and macroalgae to fermentable sugars. Then we use fermentation technology on special yeast strains to produce yeast as a high-quality feed ingredient. Synergies between the two feedstocks and optimal resource utilization are achieved by combining the two sugar streams, and by making use of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and micronutrients in the macroalgae to optimize the fermentation media. We also perform screening of promising microorganisms (primarily yeasts), and evaluate downstream processing methods to optimize nutritional value and beneficial health effects of the final yeast products.
The yeast is evaluated for nutritional and functional properties in studies with salmon. We document effects on growth performance, nutrient retention, and gastro-intestinal health of Atlantic salmon. The target species is Atlantic salmon, but the results are highly relevant for other species such as pigs and poultry. Ecological and economical aspects of using forest resources and large -scale cultivation of macroalgae for fish feed are also investigated.
The BIOFEED project also develop guidelines for monitoring the long-term impacts on cultivating marine macroalgae on the marine environment of large-scale cultivation. The project builds on knowledge from woody biomass pretreatment and fractionation under development at Borregaard AS (“BALI process”), and on the ongoing industrial development of cultivation and pre-treatment of brown macroalgae at Seaweed Energy Solutions AS.
BIOFEED is a research project funded by the Research Council of Norway’s BioTek 2021/Havbruk program in the Research Council of Norway The project leader is prof. Margareth Øverland at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences’ Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences (IHA), and includes partners from four departments at NMBU: IHA, Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (IKBM), Dept. of Ecology and Natural Resource Management (INA) and Department of Basic Sciences & Aquatic Medicine (BasAM).
Central researchers at NMBU include:
International partners include Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) that has a large collection of isolated and characterized yeast strains and the Scottish Association for Marine Science, a leading institute developing guidelines for monitoring programs to assess environmental impact of cultivating macroalgae.
 A method to convert woody biomass to fermentable sugars.