01 September 2014
Fermented rapeseeds into the fight against multidrug-resistant bacteria
Every year more than 25,000 Europeans die from infections due to bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics. Overuse of drugs in agriculture carries a big part of the responsibility. A new promising research collaboration between DNRF Center DynaMo from the University of Copenhagen and the Danish company Fermentationexperts has the potential to solve two major challenges: To reduce agriculture's demand for medication and to discover new antibiotics for human use.
Industrial postdoc Svend Roesen Madsen from DynaMo will head the new project that is cofunded by InnovationsFonden - Denmark, Fermentationexperts and DynaMo.
Happy healthy pigs
Fermentationexperts specializes in producing pig feed by fermenting biproducts from food production. With great success the company ferments the residue that remains after the oil is pressed out of the seeds of oil rich plants such as rape and sunflower. The fermented feed is full of proteins, and the fermentation removes certain compounds unhealthy for the animals.
The pigs not only happily gobble up local grown, fermented feed and thereby save the farmers the import of costly soy proteins from South America, but the pigs' gut health also improves drastically and they need less medication. Among the plants Fermentationexperts ferments, rape seem to have an even better effect on pig health than other fermented plants.
A new antibiotic?
The aim of the 3 year postdoc project is to identify the substances which make fermented rape seeds extra healthy for the animals.
In addition to developing high-quality protein feed, the hope is that by using advanced mass spectrometry it will be possible to identify and characterize new antibiotics, because once the special health-giving substances in fermented rapeseed are found, they will very likely have antibiotic effects.