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Singlecell protein (SCP) is the biomass of unicellular organisms, such as bacteria or yeast, which is used commonly as a food source for animals. With a high protein content, a broad amino acid profile, and the ability to produce essential organic compounds and vitamins, SCP is a promising alternative to other classical sources of animal feed. Several processes have been developed to manufacture SCP for use in feedstocks for the sustainable farming of fish and other aquatic life, or aquaculture, which is one of the fastest growing food markets in the world. Here, a process is presented for the production of 8,800 MT of SCP per year using methanotrophic bacteria with methanol as the carbon source. To increase process profitability, the cells will be genetically engineered to produce astaxanthin, a carotenoid pigment found naturally in aquatic algae. When used as a feed supplement for farmed salmon, these SCP will serve as a nutritional additive and ensure that the salmon possess the pink pigmentation consumers expect. The final product is SCP with 0.3% by weight astaxanthin sold for $16,500/MT. The high market price of astaxanthin significantly improves the profitability of the process. According to a 10year profitability analysis, the predicted IRR is 41.9%. In 2020, the Net Present Value of the project will be $129,000,000. In the third production year, the ROI will be 56.0%.
Date Posted: 20 May 2019