Single cell alternative aquafeed firm gets FDA recognition

KnipBio, a Massachusetts-based biotech company developing alternative aquafeed proteins has green-light from US authorities.

KnipBio obtained a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) recognition from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its finfish feed ingredient, an important step toward its commercialisation, reports the department.

In May, the company announced that it had developed a sustainable aquafeed containing as much total protein as high-grade fishmeal and equivalent levels of essential amino acids. KBM324 is a single cell protein (SCP) derived from a strain of the bacteria Methylobacterium extorquens with up to 70% crude protein plus powerful antioxidants.

Back then KnipBio CEO Larry Feinberg said: “KBM324 is an important milestone in the development of our SCP lineage and is a direct response to market needs. The aquaculture industry is looking for sustainable fishmeal replacements because it recognizes future growth will require new premium proteins that do not compromise nutritional performance. Importantly, KBM324 is an excellent source of essential amino acids such as lysine and methionine as well as other immune-enhancing molecules. Preliminary feed trials suggest KBM324 can complement or substitute fishmeal and soybean meal in many aquaculture feed formulas.”

The subject of the notice was Dried Methylobacterium extorquens biomass. The FDA found that Dried Methylobacterium extorquens biomass is GRAS, through scientific procedures, for use as a protein source in food for aquaculture species when used as an intended use rate of up to 10% of the diet.