Pronofa was established in 2021. We are a «spin-off» from the industrial company Denofa, which has produced foodstuffs in the city of Fredrikstad since 1912.
Pronofa gained considerable expertise for tunicate- and insect production respectively by acquiring and incorporating a handful of smaller start-ups. Gradually, we have built a professional organization which means that we can now venture commercially with new and exciting products.
Pronofa is a trailblazer for new and sustainable protein sources!
Tunicates grow naturally along the coast. They eat only plankton and do not need any fertilization or feeding. Tunicate production is area-efficient because the animals grow three-dimensionally in large underwater clusters.
Tunicates also contribute in removing excess nitrogen caused by runoff from agriculture. In terms of biodiversity and water quality at sea – especially in the Oslofjord – this is incredibly important.
Raw tunicates are already considered a delicacy elsewhere. However, we are the first in the World to refine a local type of tunicate. The finished product is similar to other kinds of meat when it comes to taste, nutritional value and use.
With a climate footprint of only 0,8 kg. CO2 per kg. protein, we dare say that tunicate is also «the most climate-friendly meat in the World»!
The tunicate contains animal protein and is rich in minerals and essential amino acids. In addition to food, tunicates can be used as an ingredient in animal or fish feed – perhaps also in other types of foodstuffs, or pharmaceuticals.
«Profit with a purpose»
Right now, there are over 8 billion people living on «The Blue Planet», but there will be more. A lot more. The UN estimates that the world’s population will increase by up to 2 billion over the next 30 years. That means that we need to act now in order to meet the demand for food, which will continue to increase towards the year 2050 – and beyond.
In addition to the resources we already have, we need to develop new and sustainable ways to produce food and feed. A stable supply of protein is essential to avoid that people go starving into the future. We are concurrently facing a climate crisis that does not allow for any increased pressure on nature.
The challenge with a lot of «sustainable» initiatives is that the economical sustainability often is overshadowed by good intentions and great expectations. However, Pronofa believes that there is a realistic opportunity for doing something good the globe which can also become profitable in time. «Profit with a purpose», as some call it. This entails that our shareholders have the guts to bet big on establishing a brand new industry for the production of sustainable proteins.
Pronofa is the first company in the World to launch full-scale production of tunicates, and among the first to bet big on insects in Europe. From these two protein sources we can produce food and foodstuffs, fish- and animal feed, chitin and organic fertilizer. The insects are intended for animal- and fish feed, while tunicates are well-suited for both human consumption and animal feed (like other types of meat).
Swedish school kids already eat tunicates as part of their school lunch, thanks to a deal with our subsidiary Marine Taste, and they enjoy it. Several municipalities in Sweden have started serving dishes that are made with tunicate meat in their staff canteens. The feedback is great!
In Norway, we have experimented with making everything from hamburgers and pizza to steamed buns and lasagna – in cooperation with Restaurant Beach Club in Fredrikstad. It has become a big success at events and company visits.
Soon you will find products made with tunicate in Norwegian and Swedish grocery stores under the brand name Purply.
Pronofa continues to monitor and map the market with the intention to start production of black soldier fly larvae, an insect species approved for use in animal feed. These larvae grow quickly: One gram of eggs can turn into up to 4 kilograms of larvae in just two weeks!
The larvae can eat all types of organic material, and can achieve a high protein content with a favorable amino acid profile. This makes them highly suitable for fish- and animal feed – just as fly larvae do in nature.
This is circular economy in practice!
In addition, we can extract the polysaccharide chitin (and chitosan), which has a number of pharmaceutical uses. All production waste (frass) from the larvae works well as organic fertilizer, with a favorable composition of NPK and secondary plant nutrients.