Our process utilizes native, non-GMO bacteria that are entirely harmless to humans and animals. These bacteria are highly efficient at converting nutrients to protein, work and multiply 24 hours a day, are robust and consume all manner of food and beverage plant nutrients. Unlike algae, bacteria do not require sunlight and grow year-round in all types of weather conditions.
Our process involves altering the environmental conditions in existing food, beverage and biofuel systems to promote the growth and propagation of bacteria that produce protein. One aspect of this is the addition of micronutrients (think of these as vitamins) and a source of nitrogen (you can’t make protein without nitrogen). Another aspect is that we reduce the average cell age to assure the system is dominated by young cells at the peak of growth and protein content. Essentially, we create a protein producing ecosystem. And, since we promote rapid turnover and harvesting of cells, we reduce system metabolism and respiration—therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
To assure peak levels of protein production we carefully monitor the environmental conditions in the basins on a continuous basis. We measure the amount of total organic carbon entering the system with process water and add micronutrients and nitrogen in set ratio with the carbon to assure optimal cell nutrition. We also continuously measure oxygen and other parameters to assure the cells have all the elements required to thrive. One side effect of these on-line controls is that effluent quality is often greatly improved. So, a co-product of our process is good, clean water to be recycled back into the system or returned to the rivers and streams.
Our cell harvesting system consists of four general unit operations: concentration, drying, sterilizing and packaging. Concentration and drying are simply to remove excess water and create a stable, dry, granular product. Sterilizing is done to preserve quality and assure we have a food grade product. We package into recyclable polyethylene bags to preserve quality in storage.
Bacterial cells, under our environmental conditions, produce a large amount of protein with a balanced amino acid profile. In addition, they contain an array of vitamins, minerals and other nutritional components. While we currently market ProFloc™, a protein ingredient for the animal feed industry, we are working in our R&D department to develop more advanced feed and human food ingredients to compliment ProFloc™.