Agritech innovator B-hive is gearing up to open the UK’s first potato protein extraction facility this year in partnership with Branston.

The new facility in Lincolnshire will allow low-value potatoes to be turned into a protein powder that can be used in vegan, vegetarian and clean-label foods – such as meat substitutes – as well as starch-based products for other manufacturing applications.

The £6m protein plant at Branston’s HQ in Lincolnshire is nearing completion and has been part-funded by Innovate UK. The project, called RootExtracts, has been supported by a group of academic and industry partners.

B-hive’s general manager Dr Andrew Gill told FPJ about the aims of the RootExtracts initiative and some of B-hive’s other ventures in an impromptu interview at the FPC Future & Careers event in Peterborough on 16 March.

The company’s raison d’être, he says, is to boost yields, improve quality, and reduce waste in the potato industry and other crop sectors.

In addition to RootExtracts, Bi-hive’s other projects and products include HarvestEye, TuberScan, wireworm detection, and TuberSense – a gas-sensing technology to detect internal defects in potatoes.