In 2018, ENOUGH (formerly 3F BIO), specialists in sustainable food production, along with nine other partners, received European funding from the Horizon 2020 Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) for the PLENITUDE project.

ENOUGH, founded in 2015, currently has 25 members of staff across twelve nationalities based in Glasgow, London, and the Netherlands. The company’s purpose is to tackle the combined issues of feeding a growing global population and the unsustainable impact of sole reliance on traditional protein farming. In nature, the smaller the organism, the more rapid and more efficient the protein development.

ENOUGH creates 3 big impact benefits:

  • Lowest carbon emissions
  • Lowest water uses from our proprietary zero-waste process
  • The most efficient conversion of grain into food

Image Source: Abunda, https://www.enough-food.com/

 

The Problem

The latest Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) figures suggest that the emissions from livestock equate to 7.1 gigatons of CO2-equivalent per year which represents 14.5% of all total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Based on substitution of mycoprotein to replace the consumption of protein from livestock, PLENITUDE will deliver reduced CO2 savings equivalent to ~5 tonnes less CO2 emissions for every tonne of mycoprotein consumed (~82% CO2 reduction compared to meat protein) and increased biodiversity from reduction of habitat loss. The WWF-UK has stated that “A staggering 60 percent of global biodiversity loss is down to the food we eat.”

PLENITUDE realises the benefits of biotechnology, which combines the use of nature and natural processes to support efficient manufacturing by combining two established processes, to successfully operate a large-scale, first-of-its-kind bio-based value chain producing sustainable, safe food-grade protein.

Craig Johnston, CTO and Co-Founder of ENOUGH, attended a BBI JU event organised by KTN. At the time Craig and his colleagues were undecided about applying, as it was too early to consider submission. From attending the event, Craig found out more information about the funding Call and was introduced to Iconiq (professional bid writer), which subsequently led a decision to submit a proposal.

“If we hadn’t attended the event, we would not have submitted the proposal”. – Craig Johnston CTO and Co-founder of ENOUGH

The project PLENITUDE directly addresses the topic “BBI.2018.SO3.F2” through enabling food-grade mycoprotein production within an integrated bioethanol refinery. The output protein will contribute to meeting the rapidly growing global protein demand identified in the specific challenge of the topic. This 5-year project has received funding from the BBI JU within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The Aim

The aim of the partnership is to increase the availability of sustainable, safe food-grade protein by successfully building and operating large-scale, first-of-its-kind bio-based value chain producing safe food-grade protein sourced from sustainable sources such as primary grains (wheat), using an integrated biorefinery setup.

European Funded Horizon 2020 (H2020) Project BBI JU: Plenitude

PLENITUDE logo

PLENITUDE will build a bio-based value chain based around the installation and operation of a unique, zero-waste process that couples a unique aerobic fermentation plant that produces a food-grade protein with a conventional first-generation biorefinery. The inputs into the first of its kind biorefinery are sustainable cereal crops. The PLENITUDE process takes a proportion of the input into the biorefinery as a side-stream to feed an aerobic fermentation process which converts it to mycoprotein, an established high-quality protein used as a meat alternative. The environmental impact of decreasing the consumption of meat from livestock is very clear.

The Consortium

The project includes ten consortium partners covering the entire value chain who combine to:

  1. Create new bio-based food products,
  2. Create new value chains

Expected Impact

– To increase the availability of sustainable, safe food-grade protein by successfully building and operating a large-scale, first-of-its-kind bio-based value chain producing safe food-grade protein sourced from sustainable sources such as primary grains (wheat), using an integrated biorefinery setup with initial output capacity of 16k tonnes per annum, which will increase to 50k tonnes by 2025.

– To develop the whole value chain from the feedstock supply to processing and production steps in order to create the basis for at least two new bio-based value chains and create at least two new ‘consumer’ products produced from bio-based materials;

– To reduce the carbon footprint and impact of the increasing demand for food protein by enabling an alternative to the continued increase in demand for protein from livestock. Consumption of mycoprotein as a kg per kg replacement for meat (based on average consumption levels) equates to a reduction of >80% in carbon emissions, which is >90% if accounting for animal respiration. Based on the target to produce 1M tonnes of protein by 2030, this equates to a reduction of >5M tonnes of carbon emissions.

Further opportunities

ENOUGH, who are pioneering high scale sustainable protein production, have recently raised €42 million in Series B funding which will be used to prioritise collaboration and B2B supply to maximise the pace of growth and reach into the market.

Hints and Tips

  • Build experience and network: ENOUGH built up their activity and experience through the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) food network. Working with non-consortium partners has helped other commercial relationships.
  • Go for it: “The workshop gave us ‘well why not?’”. For larger projects it is worth using professional services.
  • Resilience: Change of partners and 6-month suspension partly Covid-19 related.

For more information on the PLENITUDE project, visit https://www.plenitude-bbi.com/

https://www.enough-food.com/