The order for what the Massachusetts-based firm refers to as its “protein-plus” ingredient, which is sourced from the leaf symbiont Methylobacterium extorquens, is from "an undisclosed aquaculture industry leader operating across the Asia/Pacific region".
It follows promising preliminary results from a series of KBM feed trials conducted with both shrimp and finfish at various stages of growth in both laboratory and field conditions. The customer intends to greatly expand these trials to evaluate KBM’s potential as an immuno-stimulant and conduct grow-out experiments to confirm KBM is a viable, sustainable and nutritious alternative to traditional fishmeal.
KnipBio CEO Larry Feinberg stated: “Our new customer believes aquafeeds based on alternative proteins will play a vital role in the future of aquaculture and views KnipBio Meal’s bioengineering platform as providing unique advantages in performance and sustainability compared to terrestrial proteins. While I am unable to disclose the name of the customer, I can say the order is in the multi-tonne range. It marks a major milestone for KnipBio and we are privileged to be working with such an innovative and highly-regarded company.
“This order has enabled KnipBio to significantly scale-up our fermentation process so that we are now able to produce up to ten metric tonnes of KBM per month. This increased capacity will allow us to meet the growing demand we are seeing from industry customers around the world and we are looking forward to working with interested parties on a variety of applications. This scale-up is also a critical step in our technology roadmap towards full commercialization and we are now in the planning phase for increasing our dedicated fermentation process to full-scale demonstration by mid-2018. Additionally, we are continuing to use our unique platform to develop novel strains of our bacteria that have the capability to produce taurine, prebiotics, carotenoids, and other important, potentially nutritionally-limiting ingredients. We believe our bioengineering platform will further solidify KnipBio Meal as a sustainable and viable alternative to conventional sources of protein."