“More sustainable meat and fish with plant-based protein” – The People Food Interview

Tanya Van Dentteren/Deep Branch

interview food people

Today 1:30 pm

Tanya van Dentteren has been CFO and COO of Anglo-Dutch company Deep Branch for several months now. There they use carbon dioxide gas from the factories to produce a vegetable protein, proton.

The company will soon start its first large pilot at the Brightlands-Schimelot campus in Sittard Geilen. It produces 10 tons per year. Foodbusiness.nl spoke with Van Dinteren about her career, Deep Branch and Proton.

How did you come to Deep Branch or how did they come to you?
“I came to Deep Branch through a recruiter. This was someone I’d known for a while. He told me what he was doing. And that’s how Deep Branch came along.”

What was your relationship with food/fodder before joining Deep Branch?
“I had no contact with feedtech before I came to work there. My background was at KPMG in accounting. I have seen many industries up close, but no direct experience. However, working at Engie, I had indirect experience in agriculture.” .”

Right now, the focus in Deep Branch is mainly on feed, so are there plans to focus on food as well?
“The pilot project currently under way is focused on feed. Proton is a protein that is produced now for feed, but food will be an option in the future. Deep Branch makes proteins and they could also be very well used in food. Right now the fact that we can add flavorings, for example, opens up a world.” “.

What animals are suitable for a proton?
“We initially focused on salmon and poultry. Salmon currently feed on fishmeal and soybeans, among other things. Fishmeal is made from wild-caught fish, and soybeans often have to be sourced from far away. That doesn’t make it a sustainable solution. Proton is a good substitute, because it is obtained through fermentation. Traditional fermentation uses sugar. Sugar will also be less available as raw materials in the future. Self-sufficiency is important, and for Proton only carbon dioxide, hydrogen and microbe are needed. They eat less than Fish and meat, but the population is increasing and therefore consumption is increasing. With Proton, this consumption can be made more sustainable.”

How sustainable is proton-feeding meat or fish?
“The most recent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) indicates that proton has a carbon footprint that is approximately 60% lower than traditional ingredients such as soybeans. This number could rise with expansion. Excluding several variables: replacing only 10% to 15% with proton in Salmon feed actually leads to a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions for salmon fillets.”

Do animals actually eat proton?
“Right now, no animals are being proton-fed. All signals are green. We’re currently in the experimental phase. The next step is demonstration phase and then it’s about scalability. In the next six months, we’ll run tests with salmon product testing.”

On social media, Deep Branch talks a lot about one sustainable food systemBut what does that mean to you?
“We believe that Proton can make a significant contribution to food security and a sustainable living environment. You don’t need arable land for our production: producing 100,000 tons of Proton avoids the need for a soybean farm about three times the size of Paris. This prevents large-scale deforestation and loss of diversity Biological. Our input gases are plentiful, so production can be scaled up wherever they are. This makes us less dependent on location than traditional farming.”

Soybean meal is relatively cheap and therefore attractive as an animal feed. How to convince companies of the usefulness of the proton?
“You have to look at the whole chain here. The moment you can start producing Proton locally, it becomes more attractive. Moreover, sustainability often becomes more important to consumers, so market demand will also increase from this aspect.”

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Max van der Heyden

Max writes about commodity markets and everything related to them. Its focus is mainly on cereals, coffee and cocoa. He also gets up early every morning to put the beginning of the market on paper. Max loves to cook, eat and travel.

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