Feed production facility for Caysta and Cargill

Food product developers Calysta and Cargill began construction for a new feed production facility in April 2017.

Located in the Shelby County of Memphis in Tennessee, the facility will be one of the world’s biggest gas fermentation plants.

Calysta and Cargill are executing the project through a joint venture called NouriTech™, which was formed in 2016. The new facility will initially produce 20,000mt a year of Calysta’s patented FeedKind® protein, a sustainable ingredient for fish, livestock, and pets.

NouriTech™ is being constructed in two phases. The first phase is expected to be completed by 2018 and begin operations by 2019, while phase two is expected to be completed by 2020.

The facility is expected to create 160 full-time in the Shelby County.

NouriTech feed production facility design details

The new facility will be built on a 37-acre site and include a single-storey administration block to house operators, engineers, and management personnel.

Two fermenters will be installed in phase one, while another 18 fermenters are planned to be installed in phase two.

The facility will also feature a number of dryers, which will each be as high as a six-storey building. One dryer will be installed in phase one, with the remaining being installed in phase two.

In addition, the plant will include piping, filtration, and product handling facilities, as well as processing and loading equipment.

FeedKind protein properties and development details

FeedKind® was developed by Calysta as a sustainable alternative to conventional sources fishmeal and soymeal. The protein is initially being promoted for use in the aquaculture industry and will later be expanded to the livestock and pet markets.

The product is produced through the world’s first commercially-certified gas fermentation process. It is nutrient dense, rich in fat, has low fibre content, and is approved for use as feed by the EU. It is available in the form of dry powder and pellets.

A pilot plant for the production of sample amounts of FeedKind® protein was built in September 2016 in the UK. Calysta also signed a global marketing contract with Cargill to enter the North American market.

Process technology used for FeedKind protein

Fermentation, separation, drying, and packaging are all steps involved in the production of the FeedKind® protein. Oxygen, nitrogen, and methane gases will be mixed in a proprietary fermender with water and nutrients. Calysta’s natural microorganisms then consume the ingredients through the company’s patented gas fermentation process.

Fermented material is then sent to a separator to remove the FeedKind® protein from the aqueous media. Water and nutrients will be returned to the fermenter for reuse.

The recovered FeedKind® protein will be sent to the drying and packaging unit, where it will be packaged as per customer requirements. The packaged feed will then be shipped worldwide.

Contractors involved

Black & Veatch has been contracted to supply equipment and provide technological assistance.

Growing demand for sustainable aquaculture feed

Aquaculture has risen in popularity to fulfil the rising demand for protein-rich food with increasing population. The global population is projected to increase from 7.4 billion in 2016 to 9.6 billion by 2050. The pace of population growth is expected to increase the demand for protein by 70%.

Demand for fishmeal has been on the rise, while supply has fallen drastically. Fishmeal prices have consequently increased.

Fishmeal production is largely dependent on wild catch fisheries. If not regulated, these can damage the world’s ocean ecosystem. New and sustainable ways to fulfill the growing demand that are not dependent on the human food chain have become the need of the hour.

Calysta aims to fulfil the demand through sustainable means using its FeedKind® protein. Production of the protein is independent of weather and fishery regulations.