Nearly five years ago Aleh Manchulianstau, a food scientist, and co-founder of PLANETARIANS stumbled across defatted sunflower seeds, the dry matter left after oil extraction, which because of its hard, woodlike structure, is either completely discarded by the food industry or fed to cows. Manchuliantsau saw other opportunities for this 35% protein ingredient and quickly cofounded the company.

Manchuliantsau realized those discarded husks actually contained more protein than the resulting beef that they go to support, so he went to work to close that loop. PLANETARIAN now processes these byproducts into a nutritious, affordable protein flour, and have a goal to bring 100% of the sunflower defatted seeds into direct human consumption by 2030. I should mention, the company’s patented technology does not use chemicals, uses 0.5:1 water, and does not generate by-products. I’m also told, they are looking for allies for scale-up trials and validate product assumptions including beef-like muscle whole cuts with a clean taste, better texture, higher protein quality, sustainable and affordable. 

On average, 20 pounds of defatted seeds are created for every gallon of extracted oil. The world’s supply of protein meals in 2017 was 334.82 million metric tons according to the USDA. According to Manchuliantsau, these 334 million metric tons of defatted seeds contain enough calories to feed 1.5 billion people for a year without growing any additional crops. Once they figured out how to break down the fiber and make it edible for humans, they created sunflower chips, the first product made using sunflower meal as the primary ingredient, and has three times more protein, two times more fiber, and three times less fat per serving than typical potato chips. As people are eating healthier, the Planetarian team hopes this is something consumers are looking for. 

To bring upcycled ingredients to consumers around the world, companies will definitely need the help of processors, brands, and entrepreneurs. Learn more about how PLANETARIANS are working to make this happen at “Upcycling Food By-Products and Solid Waste into Plant-Based Proteins,” a webinar you can view at iSelect Webinars

If you are interested in being part of a trial call our “Van Trump Ag Solutions” team office at (816) 322-5300. We are starting to help bring more NEW innovative technology and lower-cost solutions to the farm gate.

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