Making sugar even sweeter
Using waste to make valuable products is the backbone of the circular economy. Upcycled processing wastes can provide an excellent alternative to traditional aquafeed proteins (e.g. soy and fish meal) and provides a market for otherwise lost resources.
BioMar Costa Rica puts "circular economy thinking" into action through their partnership with local sugar cane producer, Taboga by producing fermented protein from waste streams. This protein has been used at commercial scale for over six years and helps decouple aquafeed supply chains from directly competing with food for human consumption.
Taboga uses responsibly produced sugar cane to make sugar and ethanol products as their primary business. Taboga's environmental stewardship is showcased by their adherence to strict environmental/quality certifications such as USDA organic, Bonsucro, International Sustainability & Carbon Certification, amongst others. The traditional issues associated with sugar cane farming, including slash and burn agriculture, have been phased out, and all resources are recycled to their maximum extent.
So much electricity is produced that the excess is sold back to the grid to power other industries.
Taboga's co-developed fermented protein results from a fermentation process several waste steps down the process chain. First, sugar cane is used to produce sugar and differentiated sugar products. The sugar production waste is then used to make ethanol products. Only after the maximum amount of value has been extracted, the final remains are made into a fermented protein.
Circular thinking is prevalent throughout the entire production process. For example, wastewater from the fermentation process is reused for irrigation during sugar cane farming (figure X). In addition, agricultural residues are turned into clean electricity to power the entire production process.
BioMar continually seeks new partnerships to develop the next generation of aquafeeds that help us meet our restorative and circular ambitions.
Figure X - Making sugar even sweeter