The commercial viability of the use of marine-derived peptones to produce high-value products via fermentation will be examined through a project led by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and Norway-based Marine Bioproducts AS (MB).
Referred to as MarineIB, the project began in April 2012 and seeks to establish new supply chains for the production of high-value chemicals, thereby offering a cost-effective, bio-based solution with improved performance in the marketplace.
The process employs co-products of fishing and aquaculture -- the peptones used in the study are produced from sustainable marine aquaculture as a co-product from the Norwegian salmon processing sector. MB peptone is manufactured via an enzymatic hydrolysis method, which is a cleaner, more efficient alternative to acid hydrolysis.
Through a patented process – continuous enzymatic hydrolysis – water and enzymes are added to fish raw material to solubilise proteins, release the oil and allow for the removal of the bones.
In addition, the Marine Bioproducts approach tackles the growing environmental problems intrinsic to the world’s fishing industry. MB established a commercial operation based on the sale of pet and livestock feed at the lower end of the value chain, but has the potential to create a marine peptone for the fermentation market, the higher end of the value chain.
Currently, around 1 million tonnes of waste co-products are produced in Norway yearly; MB can exploit these otherwise wasted marine resources such as hydrolysate (soluble protein), oil, sediment (unsoluble protein) and bones (minerals) to produce sustainable, consistent material to support the development of biobased products.
This partnership could lead to an integrated marine-biorefinery between Norway and the UK and ideally maximise value from sustainable marine resources.
CPI is conducting a feasibility study in hopes of advancing the process. The study will generate data that supports the case for Marine Bioproduct’s peptone to be a viable microbiological media component.
To help the case, CPI has conducted growth trials and undertaken protein expression trials on a range of microorganisms.
CPI has so far been able to show that this peptone serves well as a growth medium for a variety of industrial biotech organisms, and is particularly good for yeasts. They have already shown that the peptone can be used for growing a bacterium for the expression of a natural enzyme.
The fisheries and aquaculture industry in Norway generates around 800,000 tonnes of co-products each year, and about 75 per cent of this volume is exploited into low-value products.
Now, CPI is about to launch into the cloning stage of the project – this will assess the peptone’s ability to support expression of a model cloned enzyme.
This project is being co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board and Innovation Norway as part of a government initiative to enhance innovation in Norwegian enterprises and industry.