Microharvest GmbH launches SCP-Pilot plant in Lissabon

German precision fermentation specialist MicroHarvest GmbH has launched a single-cell protein pilot plant in Lison with an initial capacity of 25kg per day.

Prior to its planned product launch of HILIX, a feed product for aquaculture, in early 2024, single-cell protein start-up MicroHarvest GmbH has opened a prototype production plant in Lisbon, Portugal. In the plant that will later have a capacity of 100kg single cell protein per day, according to COO and co-founder Jonathan Roberz, the two-year old company will produce protein-rich (>60% protein) test samples for customers, initially from the feed industry. Iin 2024, a further scale-up following an additional financing round is planned by the company that has already raised €10m. In the mid-term, the company also wants to produce sustainable protein food from sidestreams of pea acreage. It uses such cheap side-streams to grow lactobacteria that contain all amino acids and sell cell extracts or single-cell protein from it to customers.

With the ability to produce protein samples in pilot scale, the company can carry out test production runs before bringing manufacture to commercial scale. “This pilot plant serves as tangible evidence of the scalability of our process,” said Luísa Cruz, CTO of MicroHarvest. ” With a lower investment when compared to alternative technologies, and within a mere 200 square meters, we can achieve a daily production of 25 kg.” After scaling up, production is set to reach daily outputs in tons, the team engaged a commercial production partner. “Within the next three months, we are on track to introduce our first product to the market,” added Katelijne Bekers, CEO of MicroHarvest.”

MicroHarvest’s platform technology enables the sustainable production of high-quality protein ingredients containing more than 60% raw protein within just 24 hours. The company’s approach reduces resource consumption compared to conventional methods to produce feed, pet food, and human food..

The company’s biomass fermentation technology has already garnered significant attention after being honored with the Bloomberg NEF Pioneers Award earlier this year.