ENOUGH breaks ground on ‘world’s largest’ fermented protein factory
ENOUGH – formerly 3F Bio – expects the factory to be operational by 2022. Initial capacity will stand at 10,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent of more than five cows worth of protein every hour. The group intends to increase output to 50,000 tonnes by 2027. The company has targeted production of over a million tonnes cumulatively within 10 years of its launch.
Cargill collaboration for the ‘most sustainable protein’
ABUNDA is a ‘complete’ food ingredient that contains all nine essential amino acids and is high in dietary fibre. It is described as ‘light in colour, neutral in taste and fibrous in texture’ and is suitable for uses in a variety of applications, including alternative meat, seafood and dairy products.
ENOUGH’s mycoprotein is grown by feeding fungi with feedstocks in a large-scale continuous fermentation process. According to the Glasgow-based start-up, the impact of producing one million tonnes of ABUNDA will be equivalent to replacing five million cows, over one billion chickens and reducing more than five million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Data released by the company revealed ABUNDA mycoprotein uses 97% less feed than beef, 80% less than chickens and 40% less feed than soya beans. It is also significantly more water efficient, using 93% less water than beef, 55% less water than chickens and 29% less water than soy. The company reported that its carbon emissions are 97% lower than beef, 80% lower than chickens and 53% lower than soy.
ENOUGH’s new 15,000 square metre facility will be co-located alongside a Cargill site in San van Gent in the Netherlands. Through a collaboration agreement with the ingredient giant, Cargill will supply ENOUGH with the ‘most efficient’ feed source for its fungi-based protein.
“They have a starch facility which supports our need for feedstock to grow the mycoprotein and they have an ethanol plant (our waste is processed here) which supports our zero-waste proposition, thus making the most sustainable protein,” ENOUGH Commercial Director Andrew Beasley told FoodNavigator.
Cargill’s Franck Monmont - MD of Starches, Sweeteners and Texturizers in Europe - added: “As global demand for protein continues to rise, this collaboration with ENOUGH serves as another avenue to help realize our mission of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. At Cargill, we are committed to bringing alternative and traditional protein source options to the table. We see ENOUGH’s mycoprotein as a valuable and sustainable alternative source of protein and are looking forward to our collaboration in the years to come.”
Global ambitions from a European base
The new facility is one of 11 flagship projects which have support from the circular Bio Based Europe Joint Undertaking, which aims to contribute to enhancing sustainability and creating new bio-based jobs and products.
The facility has received €16.9 million funding as part of the European Plenitude project, which involves partners from the full value chain.
“The Plenitude project addresses some of the fundamental challenges of our times addressed by the European Green Deal, in particular those related to climate mitigation and food security. The project’s focus on sustainable production of alternative proteins holds a significant promise to reduce carbon emissions and help meet European climate goals. Moreover, Plenitude will support the growth of the European bio-based industries and boost local economies by attracting additional private investments and generating thousands of jobs in rural areas,” explained BBI JU Executive Director Philippe Mengal.
ENOUGH has already entered into supply agreements with UK retailer Marks and Spencer as well as Unilever. But the start-up is eyeing protein markets beyond Europe, with ambitions to expand in regions like North America and Asia.
“Demand for non-animal protein is forecast to grow at 15,000 tonnes per day for the next 5,000 days. ENOUGH uses technology which is scalable today to contribute towards this protein transition, and work with customers who share our hunger and passion for great tasting products that taste as good as and cost not more than the animal alternative,” ENOUGH CEO Jim Laird concluded.