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Sustainable protein raw materials

We are facing a protein shift where new protein crops will play an important role, but also proteins from the ocean, single cell protein and lateral currents. RISE's strength is our breadth, that we have expertise from raw material to food, and that our offering is flexible. You can choose to work with us solely on the choice of protein raw material, or all the way to consumer product on the market.

    Vegetable protein – the protein source of the future

    The soybean is a common protein crop, but RISE tests show that it is difficult to gain profitability in cultivation on our latitudes. Therefore, alternative protein crops that are favorable for growing under Swedish conditions are needed in order to obtain a sustainable vegetable protein. RISE has successfully worked with field beans, peas, kidney beans, sweet lupine and lentils.

    We are working to find suitable protein crops to grow, and to inspire what kind of foods the crops are suitable for. In one project, we make fermented products, such as yogurt, from the field beans. The possibility of making entirely new foods with vegetable protein is enormous.

    The challenge lies in the area being new – finding the right crop, the right extraction method and the right manufacturing process for each food. We are developing flexible methods that are suitable for several different crops and end products.

    Aquatic protein – aquatic foods an underutilized resource

    RISE is working to increase interest in aquatic foods and how we can better utilize blue proteins from the seafood industry, which have less environmental impact and are healthier than meat.

    Mussels are an example of raw material we work with. Mussels have a unique ability to produce low-impact protein and contain important amino acids. Protein-rich mussel flour can then be used in meat products such as sausages, which according to RISE climate calculations have five times less climate impact than Viennese sausages.

    Algae is another example of high-nutrient protein rich seafood, including vitamin B12, which makes algae a good complement for vegans

    We are also investigating how lateral streams such as fish offal, can be used for fish and animal feed as well as for new types of food.

    Animal protein – Swedish meat is of great importance

    In the context of the protein shift, it is often emphasized that animal consumption needs to decrease in favor of a more plant-based diet, and that we therefore need to change both our eating habits and our production systems – not least from a global perspective. At the same time, Swedish animal production has several important advantages, such as increased soil fertility, coal storage and the conservation of biodiversity. We cannot abruptly stop this without causing adverse effects which in turn risk depleting important ecosystems.

    RISE is working to strengthen the competitiveness of Swedish animal primary production through more efficient animal husbandry and better animal health, new techniques and systems for stable manure management and improved meat quality.

    Single cell protein – protein-rich microorganisms

    By Single cell protein we mean protein-rich microorganisms such as algae, filamentous fungi and bacteria. These are grown in closed bioreactor systems and grow extremely fast. Single cell protein can be grown on residual streams from industry, which provides a cheap substrate but where the challenge lies in matching the appropriate substrate and microorganism for best results. Under the right conditions, the microorganisms can grow from kilograms to tons in 24 hours.

    RISE has carried out several projects where Single cell protein is used in fish feed. In these projects we have gone from lab and pilot scale to demo scale and have produced enough feed to be able to carry out large feeding experiments in a natural environment for a long time. The results show that Single cell protein feed is as good or better than fish meal or soy protein feed that is commonly used today.

    Single cell protein can also be used as food. For example there is meat substitute based on filamentous fungi, which have high protein and fiber content.

    Proteins from by-products

    The industry within the bioeconomy (primary production, food and forest industry etc.) generate vast amounts of biological by-products that are often rich in both proteins and fibres. To reduce waste and increase use of resources for the industry, RISE use a broad toolbox of extraction techniques in order to collect protein from both agricultural and marine by-products and introduce them as functional ingredients in various food products. 

    In addition, RISE also works with turning wood into fish feed. RISE's focus is on looking at how residual streams from the forest industry can be utilized, so that feed can become a new product for the biorefinery industry. We look at fish feed but also feed for other animals and the interest in the feed industry is great.

    RISE has long experience in the forest industry and residual streams as well as sustainable protein. We are working to show the gains at every stage to further increase interest in, for example, using residual streams as substrates in the production of Single cell protein. RISE welcomes customers throughout the value chain and can offer knowledge and equipment at lab pilot and demo scales.


    Contact person

    Björn Alriksson

    Gruppchef - Bioteknik

    +46 10 516 67 53
    Bjorn.Alriksson@processum.se

    Read more about Björn