Turning sawdust into fish food to fight world hunger


In Finland, a scientist wants to fight world hunger with sawdust. Risto Korpinen, a research scientist at Finland’s natural resource institute, is leading a project called MonoCell to make high quality single-cell protein out of sawdust. The protein could later be developed into fish feed.

Korpinen believes that wood-based protein has a realistic chance of becoming a serious option for fish feed. Pulp mills have the right facilities to develop and use the MonoCell innovation and Korpinen said, “Mills could establish protein production units on their properties. They could benefit from the synergy by not just circulating the materials, water and chemicals but also energy, like electricity and steam.”

Although sawdust can be used in making biofuels, Finland’s current energy policies make it unprofitable to use sawdust as an energy resource. The protein production could be part of the answer to the world’s need for food and make sawdust profitable.