Aller Aqua and Bio Refine test green protein made of grass

In the search for new aquafeed ingredients, Aller Aqua will test green protein from BioRefine (Janderup, Denmark). The material is a  protein concentrate made of grass harvested from 3.000 ha of land in Denmark. Out of this, BioRefine produces 7.000 t of green protein concentrate applicable for animal nutrition per year.

The green protein concentrate has a similar nutrient profile to soybean meal and could therefore be a great replacement in Aller Aqua aquafeed. For comparison, Denmark imports around 50.000 tonnes of organic soy annually.

The company BioRefine has been launched by three agricultural companies DLG, Danish Agro, and DLF with a strong intention to create a climate- and environment-efficient alternative protein source for animal feed. “BioRefine has the ambition to continuously establish more biorefineries, and thereby increase the proportion of feed protein ingredients produced in Denmark. We are very happy about the cooperation with Aller Aqua and will closely follow the results conducted by Aller Aqua Research”, says Vagn Hundebøll, CEO at BioRefine.

The functionality of BioRefine’s green protein in the fish feed will be evaluated in feeding trials conducted at Aller Aqua Research, Aller Aqua’s trial station located in Büsum, Germany. In nutrient digestibility and growth trials, the green protein will be tested in feed for rainbow trout, the main fish species in Danish aquaculture. Due to its regionality, grass protein could be a valuable raw material for reducing the carbon footprint of aquafeed.

“New raw materials are seldom. And here we have an entirely new and locally produced raw material. It is a perfect match for us because this is the kind of raw material we are searching for. We are looking very much forward to being the first company testing and possibly, later on, including this raw material in our feed”, says Dr. Hanno Slawski, Group Research & Development Director for Aller Aqua.

Recently, Aller Aqua became the first fish feed company to label their feeds with their respective CO2 equivalents, recognized by the PEFCR Feed for food-producing animals. This was greatly appreciated by the market and client feedback has shown that knowledge about fish feeds carbon footprint is of great interest for all stakeholders along the value chain.