CIEL | Blog: Animal feed and Net Zero – what’s the alternative?

Dr Fiona Short

Alternative proteins are an increasing focus for the UK livestock sector. Historically, the sector has sought to optimise the use of home-grown protein in diets, particularly since the removal of animal protein in animal feed over 20 years ago. Due to its amino acid profile, soya has been the protein of choice, yet it’s the sustainability agenda that is now driving agrifood businesses to explores options from alternative sources.

Within CIEL’s research network, many institutions, such as the National Pig Centre at the University of Leeds, the Allermuir Avian Innovation and Skills centre at SRUC, and the Centre for Dairy Science Innovation at University of Nottingham, have a strong track record of delivering nutrition and diet-based trials. A significant amount of research has also been carried out looking at alternatives including peas, beans, algae and insects. These studies have had varying success because of anti-nutritive factors in some proteins and production, processing and legal issues with other proteins.

The reality is that there are a number of legal and practical issues associated with the production and use of alternative proteins in the UK. A core part of CIEL’s support is helping Members stay informed about the complex regulatory landscape.

Already in 2022, we’ve brought together pioneering businesses, world-leading scientists, and specialist advisers for a webinar on this topic. We’ve also established related innovation groups looking at collaborative research ideas.

CIEL anticipates further support and funding from UK business and government when it comes to future research, given the potential of new product development to support net zero ambitions.

If this is a particular area interest to you, please get in touch to explore collaborative opportunities.

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Fiona Short

Dr Fiona Short, Innovation Manager – Nutrition

Working within the innovation team, Fiona provides scientific insight and translation of technical research to support industry members and help ensure its impact is realised across the supply chain.

Fiona has spent the majority of her career working in the animal health and nutrition industry, specialising in monogastrics, with over 17 years in research and a further six in industry.

Email: [email protected] | Phone: 01904 567716