CEA Proteins is partner of the 2023 Agrifood Innovation Event

CEA Proteins Ltd is a new company formed to act as a convener, facilitator and hub for collaboration, across all types of alternative & additional controlled environment protein production – including plant-based, fungi, precision fermentation, algae, and insects.

The vision of the company is a coherent and cohesive alternative & additional protein sector, united by the shared strategic purpose of more sustainable and resilient future protein production.

November 2024

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CEA Proteins intends to bring together those working in these many and various areas, to identify areas of common interest, to seek out opportunities of mutual benefit, and to facilitate their integration into wider circular systems, with all the benefits that could bring.

What is CEA
Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), can be defined as any kind of agriculture or growing which is carried out in an enclosed space, and with some degree of environmental control (e.g temperature, heat, light, CO2 etc).

There are many sub-sectors & definitions within this. The important point is that any given technology represents just one particular tool in the toolbox.

The key is to understand the limitations of any given technology, and to only deploy it where there is a significant & demonstrable benefit in doing so.

The aim should always be to minimise harmful environmental impacts and, at the same time, to generate the greatest possible beneficial socio-economic impacts.

Alternative & Additional Proteins
Plants
Plant proteins are now well established. Plenty of coverage is given, and many companies are actively working to make alternative products. With a staggering variety of plants available, the potential is near unlimited!

Mushrooms & Fungi
Fungi are one the great unsung heroes of natural ecosystems. Their fruiting bodies, mushrooms, are also pretty tasty! Though not massively high in protein in and of themselves, fungi can also be processed into products with a higher and/or specialist protein content.

Insects
Insect protein is having something of a moment right now. Having recently secured approval for products for human consumption, the market is currently expanding rapidly.

Algae
First of all, it’s worth separating these out into micro and macro varieties like seaweed and kelp.
The opportunities are there for both in controlled environment systems. Photo-bioreators like those pictured offer enormous opportunities to avoid resource waste and produce high quality products. But macro varieties may also be an interesting proposition in controlled aquaculture based systems.

Precision Fermentation
The newest kid on the protein block. Though this technology has been used for some time in the medical industry, potential applications in the production of protein are now generating a great deal of interest.

Circular Integrations
Throughout all of these categories, we ought above all else to be looking to integrate technologies – both with each other and with wider agricultural systems.

Common to all the types shown above, is the fact that by using CEA, we can look to significantly reduce land use, minimise resource use, include circular economy principles, and increase the resilience of supply chains.

For more information about CEA Proteins, please visit the website.

CEA Proteins is a 2023 partner of the Agrifood Innovatoin Event. Here you can find an overview of all 2023 partners.