Investors back KnipBio's alternative fish feed protein

© iStock/pichet

A new funding round will support KnipBio's alternative fish feed protein development and commercialization efforts, says CEO.

The Massachusetts-based company has just closed a Series B funding effort. Larry Feinberg, co-founder and CEO, said "up to $2m" has been generated. 

“It’s always good to have some gas in the tank,” he told FeedNavigator. “2017 is about de-risking, and 2018 is about commercialization.”

KnipBio has developed a series of naturally occurring microbes that convert low-cost feedstock into single-cell proteins (SCP) with pigment-enhancing carotenoids, aimed at fish nutrition.

The company is working to scale up its production levels of the protein source from kilogram batches to tons, along with continuing research trials and compiling an application for its SCP to be approved for use in the US.

“We’re humbled by the interest we’ve received, very encouraged and emboldened by that,” he said. “We must be sniffing out something right to garner that attention.”

Research and moving forward

The company is in the process of running a series of research trials using their SCP in feeds for different types of finfish and crustaceans, like Pacific white shrimp, said Feinberg. “There are so many tools available for making lots of strains, we’re constantly developing,” he added.

Research “is an ongoing activity – there are lots of iterations some of that occurs with the USDA and some with commercial partners,” he said.

The protein product is designed as an ingredient to replace or limit the need for marine-based fishmeal, he added.

“Palatability is pretty good,” he said. “We’re trying to figure out optimal inclusion rates and there are some variations still to be figured out.”

In addition to the research trials, the company is working to develop partnerships for manufacturing larger amounts of the product, he said. It also is planning to submit an application to register the product as a feed ingredient.

The longer-term goals include establishing facilities capable of manufacturing about 150,000 tons of the SCP product and a move toward initial commercialization in 2018, said Feinberg.

“We see these as different products,” he said. “They have different characteristics and they would be ingredients – maybe you want pigmented carotenoids in one or taurine in another – these would be different options for feed manufactures.”

Novel protein details

The single cell protein is being designed to generate required elements within a fish feed, said Feinberg.

“There are several value drivers,” he said. “Protein is one and, for certain diets, carotenoids – in this product we’re imaging there are two or three.”

“It’s a way to address more of the feed pellet real estate – so we can replace and be a source for other ingredients in that picture,” he said. “We don’t see it just as a straight protein replacement.”

It may not be used as a complete fishmeal replacement, but could be an option for reducing use of that product as there is a limited supply, he said. “Whether it’s a replacement or complement time will tell,” he added.

The use of a single cell protein in feed also may offer a way to reduce some of the inflammation vegetable-based ingredients can provoke, he said. “If you blend in single cell proteins then you have a healthier animal, and that we’re really excited about,” he added.

Related News

© iStock/phototechno

F3 Fish-Free Feed Challenge: US team stresses ecological focus of contest

istock

Coppens launches fish-free trout feed

'There isn’t really a sense of urgency about the alternative protein topic right now in the feed space. It is not a burning platform. But we want to get the conversation started.' © istock/ipopba

Project aims to find protein feeds ‘fit for the future’

© istock

Sewage sludge to animal feed: single cell protein production model

© iStock/StrahilDimitrov

Bacterial single cell protein shows benefits in salmon, shrimp diets: study

© iStock/JudyDillon

Juvenile brown trout see benefit from veggies in diet

What is the low-down on the fishmeal market?

Fishmeal has shifted from being a bulk commodity traded on price to a strategic ingredient: Rabobank

Danes producing fishmeal substitute

Danes producing fishmeal substitute

© istock.com/Rawpixel Ltd

Fluctuation in fishmeal prices trigger for innovation: Nutreco

© istock.com/Yamato1987

Fishmeal prices forecast lower in 2016

© istock.com/PeterHermesFurian

Drop in prices but uncertainties remain in fishmeal market

© istock

Fishmeal prices predicted to soften in 2017 (compared to 2016)

Skretting looks to insects and algae as fishmeal alternatives

Skretting looks to insects and algae as fishmeal alternatives

© iStock/JudyDillon

US: Prairie Aquatech to generate novel soy-based fishmeal replacer

© iStock.com/sezer66

Will farmed flathead grey mullet eat their vegetables, instead of fishmeal?

©iStock.com/defun

Fishmeal-free diets alter gut microbes, but cleared for use in recirculating systems

© istock/Vladimir Cetinski

EU: Starfish now allowed as fishmeal source for pig and poultry feed

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.