Margareth Øverland

Professor in Nutrition, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

Margareth is focused on the development of high quality novel feed ingredients based on renewable natural resources such as tree biomass, marine macroalegae, and animal and fish co-products by use of advanced biotechnology.  She has a special interest in developing single cell ingredients as a source of protein with added functionality for pigs, poultry and farmed fish.  In addition to her role at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) Magareth is the Director of Foods of Norway, a centre for research-based innovation.  She has a BSc and MSc in animal nutrition from Montana State University, USA and a PhD in animal nutrition from NMBU.

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Single cell technology

The search for alternative protein sources for animal feeds has reached a critical point.  Concerns about population growth and climate change make it imperative that we find ways to produce proteins that don’t use up valuable land or water resources, and that don’t rely on crops that could be used for human consumption.  Margareth has spent twenty years researching the potential of microbial proteins such as bacteria and yeast to feed a wide variety of animals – including fish, broiler chickens and pigs.  Sharing the results of that research with us, she’ll argue that advances in technology have brought us to the verge of a feed revolution, in which high quality protein ingredients can be produced sustainably and cost effectively anywhere in the world. She’ll demonstrate that single cell proteins are now:

  • Sustainable – we can reduce environmental impacts by creating sustainable proteins from renewable lignocellulosic biomass and natural gas
  • Effective – extensive trials from feed ingredient development to long term impact show that animals thrive, grow and stay healthy on bacteria and yeast proteins
  • Viable – advances in technologies mean these proteins can be produced cost effectively and at scale
  • Available – a growing supply chain supported by ingredients leaders is making single cell proteins available to manufacturers now