(SCP) Protein produced by unicellular organisms for animal and human consumption. Microorganisms are considerably more efficient in producing protein than crops and farm animals. Thus yeast and bacteria can double their mass in a minimum of 20 minutes while cereals would take 7-14 days and young cattle 4-8 weeks to achieve this. Considerable research has consequently been directed towards developing suitable industrial plants for the large-scale cultivation of certain bacteria, fungi, and algae. Many products are already available, e.g. Pruteen from ICI.
The substrates used to grow the microorganisms can be low-cost agricultural wastes, e.g. straw, molasses, and animal sewage. The technology thus has potential applications in pollution control as well as food production.