The Enifer team outside their pilot plant in Finland.

Enifer takes giant step closer to scaling up aquafeed mycoprotein production

Aquafeed supplier Skretting welcomes 'promising next step' by ingredient maker

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Aquafeed producer Skretting today welcomed news that Finnish biotech start-up Enifer has secured a €12 million (£10.3m) grant towards the construction of a factory that will produce 3,000 tonnes of mycoprotein ingredient per year.

Skretting has already tested Enifer’s Pekilo Aqua product in salmon feed and sees it as a promising alternative source of protein.

Enifer (previously known as EniferBio) said today that it now expects its factory to be completed by the end of 2025, with production ramp-up occurring in 2026.

Asked if the factory will enable Skretting to begin including mycoprotein in some of its feed, Robert van den Breemer, head of sustainability and procurement at Skretting parent company Nutreco, said: “The scale-up of Enifer is a promising next step in the exciting journey that we see ahead for broad inclusion of mycoprotein in Skretting aquaculture diets. So, the answer is yes.”


Pekilo mycoprotein ingredients are made using fermentation with micro-fungus Paecilomyces variotii, based on a process originally developed by Finnish forest industry engineers in the 1970s. As the world’s first commercial mycoprotein production process from 1975 to 1991, it converted forest industry by-products into sustainable feed protein for pigs.

Enifer has taken the original process further and developed a food-grade ingredient based on the original technology. The product is a protein- and fibre-rich powder with a neutral taste and colour that can be used in a similar way to plant-based proteins in the food industry today.

Modern Pekilo can use different substrates, and because it is fermented in a bioreactor it requires 60,000 times less land than soy protein production.

EU money

The €12m funding towards the €30m costs of the Enifer factory comes from the European Union’s €807 billion NextGenerationEU recovery instrument. The first-of-its-kind facility promotes the reuse and recycling of industrial by-products and waste streams, hence aligning with the EU’s circular economy action plan and the Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland.

Enifer is currently undertaking basic engineering of the facility with design and engineering company AFRY. The facility will be built in the Uusimaa region of Finland, with an announcement on the location expected during the current quarter.

Enifer chief executive Simo Ellilä: "We aim to commercialise globally across different applications."

“A key objective for the original developers of Pekilo was to take this amazing source of protein to food applications. It is an absolute privilege for Enifer to be able to finally complete that mission, more than 50 years on,” said Enifer chief executive and co-founder Simo Ellilä.

Critical stepping stone

“This plant will be a critical stepping stone to scaling the production of Pekilo as a truly universal protein source – which we aim to commercialise globally across different applications. Thanks to the unique history of Pekilo we are able to take this giant leap from our existing pilot directly to a commercial-scale facility. We are extremely grateful for the financial support approved by Business Finland and the European Union NextGenerationEU programme, which will enable us to take this huge step in the coming year.”

Enifer raised €11m in series A funding in spring 2023, and the company already has ongoing partnerships with big global companies in the feed and food industries, including Skretting, Purina for pet food, and Valio for consumer food products.