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Arbiom achieves milestone in scale-up of 'wood-to-food' technology

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Biotechnology pioneer achieves continuous process operations in demonstration program for wood-based single-cell protein feed ingredient.

Arbiom, an agricultural-biotechnology company developing solutions to convert wood into protein for feed and food applications, announced Oct. 8 that it has successfully achieved a critical step in its demonstration program by completing continuous, stable operation of its fermentation technology over a seven-day period without contamination or product quality issues.

Throughout the demonstration program, fermentation and downstream process stages ran smoothly and continuously to successfully produce more than a half-ton of SylPro, which exceeded Arbiom’s initial target, the announcement said. To complete the continuous run, Arbiom worked with BBEPP, a partner in the SYLFEED Consortium, at BBEPP’s facility in Belgium.

Transitioning from batch to continuous operations is essential in scaling-up the company’s industrial biotechnology to commercial production, as this achievement strongly improves process economics of a representative commercial production facility, Arbiom said.

Continuous operation of Arbiom’s fermentation process in partnership with BBEPP is a significant achievement in commercializing the company’s technology to economically produce SylPro, a protein-rich ingredient using wood as a feedstock. SylPro is a nutritional, sustainable, protein-rich ingredient for feed and food applications.

“This significant achievement is a testament to our strong collaboration with Arbiom and the dedication of everyone on the team,” BBEPP business development manager Muriel Dewilde said. “We look forward to working with Arbiom to build on this successful demonstration as the company continues to scale up its process technology.”

“We are very pleased to have achieved this latest advancement in commercialization of Arbiom’s technology, with continuous operation and stable, robust process performance at demonstration-scale,” Arbiom chief executive officer Marc Chevrel said. “It is a critical milestone for Arbiom’s team and partners, who are dedicated to the success of Arbiom’s mission: to lead the future of food production by commercializing 'wood-to-food' technology as a nutritional, sustainable solution to feed society without harming the planet.”

To date, Arbiom has completed more than 1,500 hours of process scale-up operations. By the end of 2020, Arbiom will have run its bioconversion process continuously at the 15 cu. m scale (15,000 liters) as part of the critical path within the company’s demonstration program, the announcement said.

Arbiom is committed to meeting the sharp increase in global food and resource requirements with technology that transforms the most sustainable and readily available carbon source in the world — wood — into intermediate materials for a range of applications in the feed, food and chemicals industries. Arbiom’s technology platform integrates the company’s proprietary biomass processing and fermentation expertise to convert wood into a nutritional, sustainable protein source. Arbiom is partnering with biomass stakeholders and leading firms in aquaculture, biotechnology and bio-based industries to continue developing and scaling up its technology.

Headquartered in Durham, N.C., Arbiom also has an office in Paris, France.

SYLFEED is an international, multidisciplinary, four-year project aiming at scaling up Arbiom’s wood-to-food technology to convert wood residues into a protein-rich ingredient comprised of single-cell protein and test it in aquaculture applications. SYLFEED gathers 10 partners all along the value chain -- from wood sourcing to fish feed manufacturing and testing -- to address Europe's protein gap.

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