Sara Girardello

Head of Starch Research, LMC International

Sara Girardello heads LMC’s Starch Research Team where she is the senior editor of LMC’s monthly Starch & Fermentation Analysis. She has also acted as project leader across a broad range of projects. Before moving to LMC’s Starch team, Sara worked in LMC’s Sugar and Sweeteners research team.

Back to speakers
Back to programme

Protein supply from fuel & fermentation: the end of an era or the beginning of a new one?

The ‘biofuels era’ inadvertently increased the oil content of crops, often with the effect of reducing the protein content of oilseed meals. Conversely, co-products of ethanol and starch production were released onto the market in the form of high-protein feeds, creating additional sources of protein. With the dawn of the ‘protein era’, the depressed protein content of oil meals combined with the lack of sufficient growth in fuel and fermentation co-products is putting pressure on the development of novel sources of protein. Ironically, this innovation is occurring in the very same field: fermentation and enzymatic chemistry.

Key learnings:

  • The protein content of all major oil crops has declined over the past decade
  • Ethanol & starch production growth released millions of tonnes of maize/wheat DDGs and gluten meals
  • With biofuel growth declining, other sources will be required to satisfy the appetite for protein
  • Innovation to address this imbalance is coming from other fermentation technologies (e.g. single cell proteins)