Burgers made from chaff - what will they think of next

cb387

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Glos
‘Chaff-burgers’ made from wheat waste ‘could be on the shelves within five years’
The boss of Quorn hopes to develop a way to ferment the leftovers and turn them into a protein to be forged into food products

ByJoe Pinkstone20 June 2021 • 7:00pm

Eight billion tonnes of chaff is made globally every year and largely goes to waste, with most being burned or ploughed back into the ground

Eight billion tonnes of chaff are made globally each year and largely go to waste, with most being burned or ploughed back into the ground CREDIT: Joe Giddens/PA
"Chaff-burgers" made from crop waste will be a reality within five years, according to the boss of Quorn.
Eight billion tonnes of chaff is created around the world each year and largely goes to waste, with most being burned or ploughed back into the ground.
Chaff is a name for discarded parts of crops such as wheat and barley, which are left behind after the grain has been extracted and include straw, leaves and husks.
Marco Bertacca, the CEO of Quorn, told The Telegraph he hopes to develop a way to ferment the leftovers and turn them into a protein to be forged into food products.
He said developing an environmentally-friendly method to do this would "change the world" by slashing the greenhouse gas emissions made by farming.
Quorn, based in Stokesley, Yorkshire, has already started work on creating the technology needed to recycle the harvest leftovers.

But the difficulty is that the main component of the waste is a polymer called lignocellulose, which makes up the walls of the plant cells and is extremely tough. There is as yet no way to make use of this, despite it being the most abundant raw material on the planet.
Mr Bertacca admitted the company is still at the "theory stage" and does not yet have a proposed technology, but told The Telegraph he is hopeful it will have found a way to turn lignocellulose into a useful protein in just five years.
He envisions a fermentation method akin to Quorn's current model, which takes the arable waste and converts it into a dough-like mycoprotein, the bedrock of all Quorn products.
The crop waste created could become the mycoprotein equivalent to five million cows, according to Marco Bertacca

The crop waste created could become the mycoprotein equivalent to five million cows, according to Marco Bertacca CREDIT: Arnd Wiemann/Reuters
Quorn’s original method was developed more than 30 years ago and hinges on a microfungus called Fusarium venenatum. Although it took 20 years for the company to scale up that technology, Mr Bertacca has taken inspiration from the rapid development and rollout of Covid vaccines.
"Historically, it took ages [to get a vaccine] and then all of a sudden, people started to work together and we have found something which has changed how we have done things," he said.
"I really believe that if we work with a group of other, like-minded people, we can crack this and change the world of protein in the space of five years."
Mr Bertacca said eight billion tonnes of waste crop are created globally every year, adding: "When you translate it into what it could be, we would be able to ferment that and create mycoprotein equivalent to five million cows, which is about three times the amount of cows we have on the planet now."
This, he says, has two main benefits – helping meet the growing demand for food and slashing the volume of greenhouse gases produced by farming. Emissions from animal agriculture are responsible for almost a fifth (18 per cent) of all greenhouse gas emissions made worldwide.
Boris Johnson's Government said in December that they wanted to reduce CO2 emissions by 68 per cent by 2030 – the most ambitious target of any major economy. But many experts believe that to be too ambitious and only attainable if there is radical change to the daily lives of Britons.
The proposed technology Quorn is diving into has the potential to reduce the dependence on meat as mycoprotein uses 90 per cent less land, 90 per cent less water and 90 per cent less CO2 for the same amount of product.
"The ability for us to produce, at scale, a product approaching the price of animal protein is what will flip the world," Mr Bertacca said. "There are people that are selling a burger for $5. Fine, there will be some people that can afford to pay $5 a burger.
"But I can tell you they're not going to change the world with that, because we need to find a way to be able to be affordable. For me, the ability of transforming this eight billion tonnes of waste into five billion cows – that really gets me out of bed.
 

Steevo

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
How will they get this chaff from farms…? I can’t see many farmers willing to collect and sell it….far too much hassle. Plenty chop straw so as not to hold up harvesting/planting the next crop. Can’t see many changing their system for this.
 

Swarfmonkey

Member
Location
Hampshire
Eight billion tonnes of chaff are made globally each year and largely go to waste, with most being burned or ploughed back into the ground

Now, i'm not a farmer, but I'm pretty sure it's going to rot down and return nutrients to the soil, so I wouldn't call it "waste".

Mr Bertacca admitted the company is still at the "theory stage" and does not yet have a proposed technology

Well, I am surprised. Not.

Emissions from animal agriculture are responsible for almost a fifth (18 per cent) of all greenhouse gas emissions made worldwide

If you're gonna tell a lie, I suppose you might as well tell a right whopper of a lie. 18% is more than agriculture of all types, combined.
 

PSQ

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
Let’s not forget that the original ‘Pruteen’ process developed by ICI (and taken on by their spin off, Marlow Foods, now owned by the Monde Nissin Corporation) was designed to produce a cheap high protein cattle feed. The genius of Quorn was in getting the public and vegetarians / vegans to cut out the livestock, and eat the ‘cattle feed’ themselves so we really shouldn’t be surprised that they’re now trying to feed them chaff.

If this was a horror film script, I’d say that all that all they need to do now is to feed the public brewers grains and pot ale syrup, and when they reach their target ‘condition score’ they’ll be ready to be sent to the Soylent Green factory for slaughter…
 

Exfarmer

Member
Location
Bury St Edmunds
So it's not about the money then? At all? Honest?

You've got to wonder about the sanity of these people. Of course removing even more carbon from the soil will end well. I don't even know why they're bothering with chaff, why not just go straight to trees? Far easier job to source a huge amount of raw material for this comedy project.
Its not the chemical engineers sanity you should question, it is the journalists who suck up this guff, and the buyers of the newspapers who swallow it.
 
Shaking my head in disbelief, apart from the problems of collecting chaff, how it is going to effect the soil organic matter if we never feed it's biome? And nature has provided us with the ultimate bio technology to convert plant matter that we can't digest into something we can - Ruminants - and look after the soil including sequesting carbon at the same time. We seem to be living in a dystopian nightmare, but maybe that is because of the hubris of man and the fact that the majority of the population is scientifically illiterate.
 

melted welly

Member
Location
DD9.
Can’t wait for these geniuses to start turning their attention to wheel production…

I mean, wheels fit the same criteria as food production - efficient, honed over generations, provide exactly what we require. BUT the whole concept of the wheel means it’s hard to exert ownership rights and extract added value, plus anyone with the right skill set and tools can make a wheel.

Far better for these guys to come up with an overly complicated “alternative wheel” that’s actually a square but uses expensive complicated computers and hydraulics to make itself round.

patent it

start spreading misinformation about traditional wheels,

then once enough of the more affluent members of society have been hoodwinked by celebrity endorsements, then they can ramp up the subscription charges for the software upgrades to prevent the wheels becoming stuck in square mode, which is actually a safety feature and is why traditional wheels should be banned as they’re so unsafe.
 

Steevo

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
Can’t wait for these geniuses to start turning their attention to wheel production…

I mean, wheels fit the same criteria as food production - efficient, honed over generations, provide exactly what we require. BUT the whole concept of the wheel means it’s hard to exert ownership rights and extract added value, plus anyone with the right skill set and tools can make a wheel.

Far better for these guys to come up with an overly complicated “alternative wheel” that’s actually a square but uses expensive complicated computers and hydraulics to make itself round.

patent it

start spreading misinformation about traditional wheels,

then once enough of the more affluent members of society have been hoodwinked by celebrity endorsements, then they can ramp up the subscription charges for the software upgrades to prevent the wheels becoming stuck in square mode, which is actually a safety feature and is why traditional wheels should be banned as they’re so unsafe.

It'll be oxygen and water after!!
 

Hampton

Member
Location
Shropshire
So he wants to make burgers out of the bits the combine rejects.
How much would chaff have to be worth for us to collect it off a combine? £2-3000 per tonne?
How much would chaff yield per acre? 40kg? Probably less although Crusoe would give plenty.
Surely this idiot would be better to look at the flour waste from the millers that is currently going to animal feed? Oh, but he hasn’t announced that as then he would have to admit that animals eat waste products!
 

New Fuel Supplier On The Way

  • 276
  • 2
Farmdeals is very pleased to announce that Exswift Limited will soon be joining our digital online platform. Exswift deliver all types of fuel to numerous locations around Essex and further a field. We will keep you updated as to when they go live. Farmdeals.ag powered by The Farming Forum & FutureFarm. #farming #workinghard #inittogether

Exswift lorry2.jpg
Top