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New project aims to revolutionise Sustainable Protein Production for Feed, Food and Aquaculture

The GreenImPro project can support the growing demand for sustainable protein sources, while reducing Europe's reliance on soy imports. The project aims to counter this reliance by creating novel, locally sourced protein ingredients through a scalable process, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the economic viability of green biorefineries.

Photo: Lars Kruse/AU Foto

The GreenImPro project aims to transform the production of protein ingredients for food, aquaculture and feed for monogastric animals in a single project. The project not only offers economic benefits but can also have a positive climate and environmental impact.

By upcycling traditional feed crops to food ingredients and replacing soy protein in feed formulations, it has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly.

High-quality protein

The core idea behind the project is to produce high-quality white protein isolate and concentrate ingredients for use in food applications and aquafeed, respectively, leveraging raw materials such as alfalfa, white clover, and sea lettuce.

Overcoming colour and antinutritional factors (ANFs) presents a challenge, but GreenImPro will tackle this hurdle by combining heat treatment with filtration using an innovative vibrational membrane technology.

The process, which was developed and optimized at Department of Food Science at Aarhus University, will be refined and optimized in a demonstration biorefinery facility at Aarhus University Viborg before being scaled up to commercial production at the Project Lead, the company BioRefine.

Three different protein qualities

The GreenImPro consortium is composed of research and industry partners with diverse capabilities.

The involved departments from Aarhus University possess in-depth knowledge of the complex chemistry of the biomasses involved, expertise in agile scale-up within demonstration facilities, and facilities for testing protein quality for both food and feed applications.

The project is funded under the Innovation Fund Denmark Grand Solution programme, which invests in ambitious, interdisciplinary research and innovation projects that can create new, concrete solutions to important politically prioritized societal challenges. This makes it possible to bring all needed capabilities and partners into play.

”GreenImPro gives us the opportunity to work on three different protein qualities for food, aquafeed, and feed for monogastric animals. We are excited to get the change to deliver science and knowledge with potential to be implemented in industry within a short period of time and which makes a difference in green transition,” Professor at Department of Food Science at Aarhus University, Trine Kastrup Dalsgaard says.

Diverse consortium

Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering at Aarhus University will upscale a process line developed at Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, who will also evaluate the food quality together with Toft Care.

Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at Aarhus University and BioMar will evaluate the nutritional value in monogastric animals and trouts, respectively.

Partners such as HedeDanmark bring experience in large-scale, mechanised, and gentle sea lettuce harvests in close collaboration with Department of Ecoscience at Aarhus University, while BioRefine contributes with expertise in scaling up and commercial operation of the biorefinery process where SANI Membranes brings their patented membrane technology into play.

Finally, University of Southern Denmark will do Life Cycle Assessment on the whole process.

Additional information

We strive to ensure that all our articles live up to the Danish universities' principles for good research communication (scroll down to find the English version on the website). Because of this the article will be supplemented with the following information:

Project title:

GreenImPro - Improved business potential by increasing protein quality from green feed protein to food protein ingredients and high quality aquafeed


3 years (2023-2026)



Total budget: 14.7 MILL DKK
Innovation Fund Denmark (10.9 MILL DKK)

BioRefine Denmark A/S


Toft Care

Sani Membranes


University of Southern Denmark

Aarhus University

Conflict of interest:


External commenting:




Department of Food Science, Aarhus University

Centre for Circular Bioeconomy (CBIO), Aarhus University

The Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Aarhus University

The Department of Animal and Veterinary Science, Aarhus University

The Department of Ecoscience, Aarhus University
Center for Life Cycle Engineering, University of Southern Denmark

BioRefine Denmark A/S


Toft Care

Sani Membranes




Professor Trine Kastrup Dalsgaard

+45 22 41 09 42