Larry Feinberg, chief executive of KnipBio. Photo: UMass-Lowell Innovation Hub

KnipBio looks to Belgium for ‘key’ feed additive

US alternative feed manufacturer KnipBio, Inc. has entered into an agreement with Ghent University to license the Belgian university’s research on the use of prebiotics to promote health in the aquaculture and agriculture industries.
Author: Editors

Massachusetts-based KnipBio said in a press release that the agreement gives it the exclusive right to use the research conducted on poly-?-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) by Ghent University’s Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology.

It said PHB is a powerful bacterial storage polymer of short chain fatty acids that can boost the natural gut micro-biome of fish. It works as an anti-microbial agent and “can be a key additive in KnipBio’s premium alternative aquafeed, KnipBio Meal”.

Longer to grow

KnipBio chief executive Larry Feinberg said numerous feed studies had shown that fish given a diet high in soy protein, increasingly used to replace fishmeal, take longer to grow and require more feed than fish given a low-soy diet.

“Additionally, a number of fish species are more susceptible to diseases like intestinal inflammations (enteritis) when fed a high-soy diet. These inflammations can adversely affect the immune system and disrupt the microbiome living in the fish’s digestion tract. These imbalances can in turn provide a pathway for the introduction of harmful bacteria leading to diseases such as vibriosis and other related complications,” said Feinberg.

Combat disease through nutrition

He continued: “KnipBio’s goal is to promote a more responsible way to combat disease through healthier nutrition. Our work led us to the efforts of Professor Dr. Van De Wiele and Dr. Defoirdt of Ghent University, a research group that did much to pioneer the use of prebiotics as an immunostimulant in aquaculture and other animal feeds.”

Professor Dr Benedikt Sas, chief business officer for the University of Ghent’s Centre of Expertise Food2Know, said: “Our prebiotics research and technology have been more than a decade in the making. KnipBio is an excellent industrial partner for the valorisation of this work. We are delighted to partner with KnipBio because they are in a strong position to advance single cell proteins and immunostimulants in aquaculture and related animal health fields.”

KnipBio uses biotechnology to develop a range of single cell protein products from non-food feedstocks. Its protein comes from a natural leaf symbiont, Methylobacterium extorquens.

Published: 10/11/2017 at 9:31 am

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