Is the grass greener on the other side? Protein production from grass

Project title: Grass protein

Partners: The Agricultural University of Iceland (LbhÍ), the Agricultural Advisory Center (RML) and the Farmers' Association of Iceland (BÍ)

Research Fund: Icelandic Food Innovation Fund (is. Matvælasjóður)

Initial year: 2022

Service Category:

Other service categories

Contact

Margrét Geirsdóttir

Project Manager

mg@matis.is

The demand for proteins on a global scale is constantly increasing, and therefore various ways of protein production can be considered. One way is to use grass as a protein source.

In many countries abroad, including in Denmark, research has been carried out in the field of protein production from grass with good results. In this project, for the first time, research in this field will begin in Iceland, which is extremely important because it is not possible to completely transfer knowledge that has been created abroad to Icelandic conditions. The project lays a foundation for knowledge that can be built on top of with ongoing research. Proteins made from grass can be used both as feed and food. Research has also shown that protein processing waste can be used as feed, so there are virtually no by-products of production.

The project is intended to

  1. Collect information on possible protein utilization, amino acid composition, and processing characteristics of grass of varied cultivars and at diverse shearing times
  2. Set up processing procedures for the isolation of proteins from grass
  3. Obtain knowledge of protein content and properties of isolated proteins from grass
  4. Analyse the feasibility of setting up a grass protein processing plant in Iceland

The benefit of the project is increased food security in Iceland, which is achieved by increasing domestic protein production for use in feed and food. There are rich opportunities for increased utilization of uncultivated land, which both creates value and strengthens the agriculture industry but also supports sparsely populated areas.