Improving the production and quality of microbial / single cell protein (SCP) to increase its utility in aquaculture feeds (RD020)


The overall objective of this study is to improve the production and quality of locally produced sustainable Single cell protein (SCP) sources to ensure feed/food security for the UK aquaculture sector.

Funding Amount:


Duration of Project:

18 Months

Project Outcome:

This project examined critical aspects of the nutritional quality of single cell proteins (SCP) as a feed ingredient in diets for Atlantic salmon. SCP are the dried cells of microorganisms such as bacteria and can be grown in a diverse array of culture systems. However, those diverse production methods can impact their nutritional qualities. This project examined some of the critical constraints to assessing that quality and improving aspects of both SCP production and processing to improve utility of the ingredient.

The most promising SCP production in the United Kingdom is that of FeedKind™ by Calysta PLC, who use a system based on using chemoautotrophic methanotrophic bacteria fed on natural gas. Studies in this project focussed on assessing the digestibility value/nutritional quality of SCP (i.e. how much of the nutrients from the ingredient is actually absorbed by the animal), as there had been reports about it being comparatively low and variable compared to other ingredients. This has a direct impact on the cost-effectiveness, price, and ability to effectively use SCP in formulations.

From work in this study, we demonstrated that the methods used to previously assess these parameters were most likely inadequate for assessing SCP and new improved recommendations have been developed that show SCP is as good as other key ingredients used by the feed industry already. Additionally, we were able to demonstrate the impact of several production and processing variables on the nutritional qualities of the SCP, so that we are now able to improve those qualities further.

STATUS: Completed

Project Lead

Institute of Aquaculture, Stirling University