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From Green Herbage to Protein Feed

Would you like to replace soya in your protein feed to your animals? A new biorefining technique, developed in the OrganoFinery project, transforms green herbage into protein feed for organic chickens, and residues can be used to feed cows and fuel for biogas plants.

Organic pork and poultry production are growing rapidly in Denmark, and it is difficult to obtain sufficient organic protein feed with the right amino acid composition. At the same time, the interest in Danish produced protein is increasing, and from several sides of the industry, local production of feed is in high demand as well as GMO free and 100 % traceability. Protein extracted with the new technique can contribute to the solution of these challenges.

Protein from fresh clover juice can replace soy
The new biorefining technique extracts the protein from green herbage, making it more useful as feed for pigs and poultry. The green protein concentrate contains about 40 % protein and has a good amino acid composition so that it can replace soy cakes.

The green protein concentrate contains about 40 % protein and have a good amino acid composition so that it can replace soy cakes

When extracting the protein, large amounts of freshly and finely cut green herbage are squeezed into a screw press, after which the juice is transferred into an acid tank. In the tank, the juice is heated to approx. 40 ° C and acidified with a lactic acid culture that precipitates and preserves the proteins. Finally, the proteins are centrifuged from the juice, after which it can be used to make feed.

From the screw presses, besides the clover grinder, there is also a press cake with large amounts of grass fibres. The press cake can be used for cattle feed, either in a fresh state or when it has been ensilaged. The large amount of juice from the biorefinery centrifuges can be used for biogas or it can be used to extract high value substances for the pharmaceutical industry.

High feeding value of the extracted protein and the grass fibres has been documented in feeding trials at Aarhus University. The technique is under further development in preparation for a commercial production.