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Driving Sustainability and Quality – Teesside University and Quorn

Teesside University has been working with Quorn to drive the sustainability and quality of its protein.

The project based at Quorn’s plant in Billingham will be led by Dr Nanda Ayu Puspita and will use ground-breaking new methods of proteomics, mass spectrometry and chromatography to identify and quantify proteins during the fermentation process as well using biochemical data to identify targets for new strains with desirable characteristics.

The project team will have direct access to Teesside University’s £22.3 million National Horizons Centre, a UK centre of excellence for the biosciences based in Darlington.

Dr Gillian Taylor, Principal Lecturer and Operational Manager of the National Horizons Centre, will lead the academic team. She said: ‘Biosciences is a sector which has been forecast to grow considerably over the next few years, providing more jobs and investment in the region.’

Dr Rob Johnson, Science Manager at Quorn Foods, said: ‘Quorn Foods is delighted to start this project with Teesside, which will provide evidence and technologies that will allow us to drive our products to new levels of sustainability and quality.’

The University are also working with waste recycling experts Scott Bros. Ltd to assist in finding a practical solution for utilising their own particular brand of unwanted ‘filter cake’.

30 percent of every 20-tonnes which pass through Scot Bros Ltd’s wash plant process is fine-grained clay-based ‘filter cake’ material which can only be used as a pond lining clay or inert fill. They are working with experts from the University’s School of Science, Engineering and Design to find a practical and commercial use for the filter cake, whilst making positive contributions towards the circular economy in Teesside.

The research is already producing ‘encouraging results’ in its quest to find a method of binding the material together to produce a commercial cementitious product. Possibilities include its use in the brick manufacturing process, floor screeds and potentially ground improvement.

We encourage our partners and supporters to share their examples of good practice in tackling the climate emergency, reversing ecological collapse and delivering a just transition. NEECCo does not undertake to quality assure these case studies, and inclusion of a case study on this website does not imply endorsement of the project by NEECCo or by its partners.

Some case studies will feature organisations who are involved in fossil fuel industries, or who are open to challenge on other aspects of their performance in relation to our objectives. NEECCo recognises that if we are to reach our ambitious objectives, all organisations and individuals within the north east will need to adapt their behaviour and actions. We want our case studies to encourage this process. Our commitment to achieving a just transition from a carbon-based economy to a green economy requires us to encourage positive steps wherever they are to be found. 

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