Touch the Soil News #363
Take a tank of water, put in some bacteria and then pump methane from natural gas into the water. A dramatic fermentation process ensues in which the bacteria eat the methane, minerals and oxygen. In the process, the bacteria’s bodies become high in protein. The bacteria double in number every two hours.
Eventually, the water laden with these protein bodied bacteria is removed leaving behind a sort of biomass of bacteria containing protein. The bacteria biomass is then heated to become homogeneous protein granules containing almost 71 percent protein. Unibio explains it as a form of a free=flowing brown granule.
Dried bacterial protein - photo courtesy of UNIBIO
Experiments with pigs has shown that they can replace their soybean feed with the bacteria protein granules for up to 41 percent of their dietary protein need. The product also works on broiler chickens.
Behind all of this is a Danish Company called Unibio which has patented the process. Unibio is now looking for investors to help ramp up the process and get it commercialized.
The company also makes mention of potential use of the bacteria protein as animal food: “If it is used as an additive for humans or for animals with long life spans, the UniProtein® content of nucleic acids will become a problem, since it can cause kidney and bladder stones. To offset this, the nucleic acids are neutralized through hydrolysis with an insignificant loss of protein. After this process the product can be used as an additive for human food. The taste is neutral, and even a – nutritionally very poor – diet of corn porridge can be turned into an excellent diet.”
The facility Unibio is currently using was formerly a water-treatment plant which is going to be remodeled for the production of bacteria protein. Ugh – What do you think? Should humanity choose to have a smaller families instead of condemning its ancestors to bacteria protein diets?
Following is an interview with Henrick Busch-Larsen – CEO of Unibio International as he explains the process: