SBIR Phase I: A microbially-based process to produce a high-quality soy protein concentrate for complete fish-meal replacement in aquaculture diets
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop a process to produce high quality soy protein concentrate (HQSPC) as a fish meal replacement in aquaculture feeds, while providing a binding agent for extrusion and an immunostimulant for disease control. The proposed innovation is a microbially-based process to economically produce HQSPC by converting soybean carbohydrates into protein, yielding the exopolysaccharide for pellet binding and the immunoprophylactic for enhanced health. Our preliminary data indicates that the proposed microbe will metabolize individual carbohydrates in soybeans. To demonstrate technical and commercial feasibility, extrusion and enzymatic saccharification will be used to solubilize carbohydrates in soybean white flake, followed by incubation with the gum-producing microbe and recovery of solids for use in yellow perch feeding trials. The broader commercial impacts of this research include the development of a plant-based protein source to replace fishmeal in aquaculture production systems. Increased demand for fish protein and reduced wild-captured fish has facilitated rapid growth of the aquaculture industry. This growth has dramatically increased the demand for fish meal, the primary component in aquaculture feeds, causing overexploitation of this resource and rapidly escalating prices up to $1,800/ton. There is a considerable market opportunity for a high quality, economical plant derived protein concentrate to completely replace fish meal in aquaculture feeds, thus providing broad impact. Successful development and testing of HQSPC that provides desirable growth rates and conversion efficiencies will be of commercial interest to international aquaculture feed manufacturers, as well as commercial aquaculture production facilities.
Small Business Information at Submission:
815 Medary Avenue, Suite 201 Brookings, SD 57006-1303
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