New partnership to create new sources of sustainable protein

A new broad partnership in Denmark has been established to target and intensify the development and research into the production of proteins for feed, food products and pharmaceuticals. The production of sustainable protein is a bonus for the environment, the climate and society and is part of the food sector’s work to boost sustainability in food products.

A new partnership is set to create sustainable protein for feed, food products and pharmaceuticals. The Dansk Protein Innovation partnership includes some of the largest food and ingredients companies in Denmark as well as representatives from the feed industry and scientific institutions.

"The potential in this partnership is huge and research into the production of plant proteins for feed, initially protein extracted from grass, is already well advanced,” says the chair of the partnership and the representative from the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, Lars Hvidtfeldt.

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Concentrated bio-refined grass protein can be used in feed for poultry and pigs which are unable to digest grass directly from the field. The less protein-rich residue can be used for cattle feed. The grass juice can be used in biogas production thus ensuring the recirculation of nutrients.

"With grass protein, we are building on circular thinking and not just creating one product, but several. We also expect to be able to solve some of the challenges that agriculture is facing. Firstly, we will be able to reduce imports of soy protein because we will have locally produced proteins. Secondly, the added benefit of larger grass areas is high soil carbon sequestration, and low nitrogen leaching, which, of course, is beneficial for the environment,” says Lars Hvidtfeldt.

Major companies like Danish Crown see great opportunities in the production of sustainable proteins. By using grass protein for pig feed, global food production would be more sustainable.