refining life

Feedstock choice

Hveiti’s production concept has been developed on the basis of local Danish conditions and advantages.

The feedstock – feed wheat – is a traditional Danish commodity, optimised for specific feed and industrial purposes. As opposed to countries in the southern and central parts of Europe, Danish wheat is not used for food. This is due not least to climate related conditions, as Denmark sees fewer hours of sun compared to Southern Europe, but also to legislation regarding the use of nitrogen manure, which is more restrictive in Denmark than in other EU countries.

The main part of Danish wheat is traditionally used unprocessed as feed for cattle and pigs. The rest (about 1/3 of the harvest) is exported to other countries, where it is used as feed and for industrial purposes, such as the production of bioethanol.

The high amount of starch found in feed wheat makes it unsuitable for food, but is an advantage in the production of bioethanol, as it is the starch which is converted into sugar and then alcohol (ethanol). Besides starch, the wheat grain also contains fiber, proteins and vegetable oils. In the biorefining process, the fibers are removed and used for food, such as breakfast products and bread.

In other words, by biorefining feed wheat, you produce food from a feedstock that – unprocessed – is normally not suitable for eating.

Better use of the feed wheat's protein content

The product remaining, after having removed the starch and the fibres, is a protein fraction containing both proteins and vegetable oils, and which can replace soybean protein imported from South America.

Traditionally, when you use unprocessed feed wheat, it is the starch (carbohydrates) that the animals digest. The remaining part of the feed wheat is very difficult to digest, and therefore it ends up in the slurry. Seen from both a feed perspective and an economic perspective, the protein has a higher value as a refined product, as the alternatives are few, and the main part of the protein used in animal husbandry, is soybean protein imported from South America.

The wheat produced in Denmark is feed wheat, which is not suitable for human consumption. This means that the feed wheat used in Hveiti’s process could never be used for the production of food. 

Follow the developments within biorefining. hveiti regularly informs about our efforts to improve the environment.

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