Soy beans. Image taken from Riverence / Benson Hill promo video.

Riverence chooses next-generation soy for feed

Riverence Holdings, the largest land-based producer of steelhead salmon and rainbow trout in North America, has agreed a collaboration with plant developer Benson Hill to enhance the sustainability of its feed.

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St Louis-based Benson Hill uses a combination of machine learning, genetic selection and / or gene editing to produce a range of soy varieties with different characteristics.

Ultra-high protein (UHP) and low anti-nutrient levels in the soy reduce the need for processing steps to concentrate protein levels.

The result is a minimally processed ingredient designed as an alternative to commodity soy protein concentrate (SPC) that requires up to 70% less water and up to 50% less CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) to produce than US-sourced SPC.

UHP soy also uses up to 83% less water and up to 89% less CO2e when compared to Brazilian-sourced SPC, accounting for the impacts of deforestation.

Jesse Trushenski: Soy ingredients "check all the boxes".

Suited for aquaculture

“Benson Hill has developed soy ingredients that are uniquely suited for aquaculture and check all the boxes from a nutrition, sustainability and cost perspective,” said Jesse Trushenski, chief science officer of Riverence, in a press release.

“It’s exciting to have a product designed for our market that supports improved performance of our fish, is traceable, and has a very clean carbon and water profile. We decided to incorporate Benson Hill’s ingredients again this year and believe it’s the beginning of a long and valuable partnership.”

Benson Hill said the ingredients derived from UHP varieties demonstrate equivalent performance to an SPC-based diet in salmon and trout, as measured by feed conversion ratio.

No deforestation

The company works with farmers to grow its UHP soybean varieties with an emphasis on using regenerative agriculture practices under a policy that prohibits deforestation. Through this collaboration, Riverence and Benson Hill are working to develop a supply of traceable and deforestation-free certified ingredients to serve the fish farmer’s supply chain.

“Riverence is a true sustainability leader for the industry with a keen focus on resource conservation that consumers value,” said Matt Crisp, chief executive of Benson Hill.

“Ingredient innovation provides a meaningful impact on feed quality, sustainability and traceability. We’re thrilled to work with the Riverence team to advance aquaculture together.”

Benson Hill’s proprietary ingredients will be incorporated into the aquaculture diets manufactured by Riverence’s preferred supplier Rangen, a brand of Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition.