Microbial Protein Transition

In brief: Equipment for the purification of proteins or other nutrients from fermentation broth
RRF Project Microbial Protein Transition, Contract Nr. VV021/03 with support from:

In response to the rapidly growing demand for sustainable food and feed, microbial proteins produced via fermentation have been gaining ground in recent years as an alternative to animal- and plant-based proteins. Renewable raw materials and side streams from various sectors can be used as feedstock for fermentation. The Microbial Protein Transition platform will support companies in the agri-food sector to produce and further develop microbial proteins into high-quality animal feed and food products or ingredients. This platform consists of a collaboration between the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant and the Food Pilot, the living lab of ILVO and Flanders’ Food. At both pilot facilities investments will be made in the necessary pilot equipment for the production, purification and further processing of the microbial proteins. The equipment will include the necessary sensors so that a sustainability analysis can be carried out on the entire process from fermentation to end product, in view of an objective communication to society and consumers. Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant will specifically invest in a pilot sedicanter, decanter, nozzle centrifuge, micro-, ultra- and nanofiltration equipment.


Advisory Board

The Advisory Board of the Microbial Protein Transition project consists of Flemish industries active in the protein business. The Advisory Board meets twice a year and their task is to:

  • Actively follow up the progress of the project
  • Evaluate and propose investments in lab and pilot equipment
  • Provide scientific and/or technical input regarding the equipment
  • Propose solutions regarding possible bottlenecks
  • Give input with regard to commercial activities, promotion, application potential based on market insights and consumer knowledge,…
  • Adjust the project wrt the list of investments, the choice of the case studies…

Members of the Advisory Board are:
Alco Bio Fuel, Avecom, Cargill, DSM, Flanders’ Food, Inex, Lambers-Seghers, Lesaffre, Milcobel, Nuscience, Orffa, Paleo, Puratos, Rousselot, Solina, Ter Beke, Those Vegan Cowboys and The ProteInn Club. 

The ProteInn Club

This project closely collaborates with The ProteInn Club. The ProteInn Club facilitates innovations and accelerates the further development of a really unique fermentation-based protein ecosystem. It brings together all actors to contribute to a more sustainable food system and circular bio-economy and with the aim to enable innovative value chains for fermentation-based proteins.  Click here for more info on The ProteInn Club.

Status of the Project:

Provisional list of investments at BBEPP:


  • Nozzle centrifuge
  • Decanter
  • Sedicanter


  • Tangential flow ceramic microfiltration unit
  • Tangential flow spiral wound membrane filtration unit​
  • Tangential flow membrane filtration unit​


  • UPLC analytical equipment

Process reactors (10,000 – 20,000 L) for feeding the separation units, enzymatic hydrolysis or conversion of protein(-rich broth)

Provisional list of investments at ILVO:


  • Microbial and microalgae fermentation reactors (lab and pilot)

Cell disintegration

  • Pulsed Electric Field
  • Bead milling
  • Homogenizer (lab)
  • Ultrasonic probe


  • Microwave extraction system (lab)


  • Drum dryer
  • Ultra-centrifugal grinder
  • Sensors
  • Feeding line

Communication tools:

Press Release – 8 October 2021 (in Dutch only):


The video below gives an impression of all substantial investments BBEPP made since its establishment in 2008.  (This video can also be found on our website (“who we are” section) and YouTube channel). 
Microbial Protein Transition: See 2:36 – 3:06

Supported by:

RRF Project Microbial Protein Transition, Contract Nr. VV021/03 with support from:



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