In this project several partners worked together in a consortium to develop the first production chain for water lentils (duckweed) in the Netherlands. Water lentils are a promising novel crop due to their fast growth rates and high protein content. They can grow well in temperate climates and thereby can reduce the dependency on imports of plant protein from (sub)tropical regions.
However establishing a production chain using water lentils is difficult when neither biomass production nor biomass application has been commercially established, but are interdependent from each other. To overcome this deadlock, this project aimed to establish a first of its kind production chain, including:
● Large scale cultivation of water lentils (in several 1200m2 test basins, located on the Lankheet estate in The Netherlands).
● Automatic harvesting and transportation of several tons of wet biomass to the processing facility.
● Processing the water lentils into a protein concentrate.
● Testing of the protein concentrate in product formulas of potential customers, including industrial application in glue formulations and use in human nutrition.
● Knowledge sharing to stakeholders by organizing several courses on the subject.
deBaai was involved in this project via consortium partner Coöp plan B and was responsible for coördinating the cultivation at Lankheet estate and research & development related to the cultivation.
The project has ended in december 2018. Two follow-up projects have originated from the project. Processor ABC-Kroos has connected to the Green East in Raalte, the Netherlands, and will continue to work on cultivation and processing water lentils for human nutrition, focusing on closed cultivation systems. At the Lankheet estate the open cultivation of water lentils on surface water will be further explored in combination with the local application as animal feed within the project 'Ecological cultivation of water lentils', in which deBaai will also be involved.
For more information on the project and the project partners, click the logo below to go to the Kroos & Co website (in Dutch).