New antibiotics from fermented rape
80% of the world’s feed protein supply comes from soy, and also Denmark has extensive import of soy due to lack of alternatives. Locally grown rape (canola) might be on its way to replace soy in animal diets as fermented rape meals represent an alternative protein source that can compete with soy on price and quality. In the current animal production, high consumption of medicine (90 t in Denmark in 2013) is known to create multidrug resistant bacteria which pose a serious threat to human health and our ability to fight even simple infections.
The industrial partner of this project, European Protein A/S (daughter company of Fermentationexperts A/S), has developed a controlled fermentation and drying process that reduces antinutritional factors of rape meal, but keep alive probiotics and enzymes. Additionally, it has been discovered that fermented rape meal seems to have beneficial effects on gut (and general) health in pigs leading to reduced usage of antibiotics at the farms.
Rape (Brassica napus) belongs to the cruciferous plants, including e.g. broccoli and cabbage vegetables. Crucifers exhibit unique sulfur chemistry leading to the production of various sulfur phytochemicals, including the glucosinolates.
Our hypothesis is that during fermentation of rape meal, novel compounds with antimicrobial and other beneficial bioactivities are formed. In the project, we will search and aim to discover such compounds by coupling in vitro assays and in vivo experiments with a metabolomics approach.
The project has potential to provide a breakthrough in the global fight against multidrug resistant pathogens by identification of novel antimicrobial compounds.
European Protein A/S
Innovation Fund Denmark, 2014-2017
Svend Roesen Madsen