Cape Food Ingredients

New plant-based protein derived from wood

When consumers think of plant-based food, they think of items made from ingredients like soybeans, wheat, peas, coconut and rice. The possibilities of wood are now looking interesting…

Arbiom, a North Carolina-based company, has recently illustrated how its highly nutritious SylPro ingredient — made from fermented and broken down wood, discarded as waste from traditional wood industries — is a viable replacement for commonly used extruded soy, pea and wheat proteins.

In a recent proof-of-concept study, SylPro was used in meat analog product prototypes in place of conventional plant-based protein ingredients.

In particular, SylPro successfully replaced critical ingredients including soy, pea and wheat gluten without compromising taste or product quality.

“The results demonstrate the potential for SylPro to replace ingredients that play a functional role in the final product, such as binding, but may have restrictions due to allergen concerns, in the case of wheat or soy, or sourcing concerns, in the case of egg,” says Arbiom CEO, Marc Chevrel.

“Arbiom’s vision is to offer a new protein ingredient to several markets, with study results showing proven-performance across a wide range of feed and food formulations.

“We are excited to offer SylPro as a viable protein source for companies developing plant-based alternatives to meat and animal proteins,” Chevrel adds.

Chevrel believes this bodes well for the possibility of a truly sustainable and nutritious ingredient to be added to manufacturers’ plant-based protein toolbox.  

“We’re taking wood, a known food plant, and putting it back into the food chain,” Chevrel says. “And that’s something that’s never been done until now. That’s also something that could completely change the equation between supply and demand for food at the global level, since wood … is completely renewable and widely abandoned around the globe. You have basically an unlimited supply of it, with an interesting supply chain on top of that.”

We’re already using wood for our buildings, furniture, floors and more… Why not re-imagine wood as food?


Arbiom’s technology platform integrates the company’s biomass processing expertise, proprietary fermentation technology and enhanced microorganism strains to convert wood into nutritional feed and food ingredients.

Chevrel says they quickly decided that focusing on upstream products that could come from wood — specifically ingredients for animal feed and human food — would be a better focus because of the sustainability factor as well as the perpetual need for new ingredients.

SylPro is currently in the testing and development phase, and if the tests continue successfully, they hope to seek FDA approval by the end of 2021…. Read the full story here

Read more about Arbiom and its technology HERE

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