Innovation

Improving Traditional Protein

Methane Reduction in Cows

Colleagues at our Pancosma facility are researching botanical compounds, derived from cinnamon and cloves in addition to capsicum oleoresin from chili -peppers, for their potential to target a key metabolic pathway in ruminants that could lead to reduced methane emissions.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential 25 times higher than carbon dioxide. Studies suggest that in addition to its effect on climate change, reducing the amount of methane that is released could lead to more energy being made available for animal performance.

Pancosma is currently conducting in vivo trials to quantify the level of methane reduction depending on the ruminant species and a range of production conditions. Meanwhile, ADM’s Feed Additives business is conducting additional studies to identify new potential additives which could be of interest to further lower enteric methane emissions. In vivo and in vitro studies will be performed in ADM research facilities in France and USA.


Sustainable Shrimp Farming

Global demand for shrimp is steadily rising and expected to continue. ADM has focused sustainability efforts in aquaculture toward using fewer resources, while providing balanced nutrition through organic trace minerals. Mirroring the plant-based protein trend in human nutrition, one of the main strategies for optimizing shrimp production in recent years has been the replacement of fish, one of the main ingredients in shrimp feed, with plant and even insect-based substitutes. Derived from wild-caught fish, the high levels of fishmeal and fish oil can be resource intensive.

In addition to plant-based alternatives, Pancosma is investigating the use of organic trace minerals to boost the availability of essential nutrients in alternatives to fish-based feeds. Not only may the supplemented minerals support shrimp performance and production, but they have the potential to reduce the impact of shrimp waste on the environment by lowering the amount of minerals that are excreted to enable sustainable aquaculture.

Although long-term sustainable shrimp production is complex, incremental changes in the supply chain efficiency and sustainability can make a lasting impact. Organic trace minerals could play a part in developing a more sustainable nutritional solution to support shrimp producers in their efforts to provide high-quality food for the world.


Insect Protein

Insect feed has become an increasingly popular protein ingredient for the agriculture and aquaculture industries, as demand for animal feed has now reached an all-time high and consumers look for food that is sustainably and responsibly grown.

In November 2020, ADM, and InnovaFeed — the world leader in producing premium insect ingredients for animal feed — announced plans to collaborate on the construction and operation of the world’s largest insect protein production site, in Decatur, Illinois. “At a time when the demand for animal feed protein is steadily increasing, insect farming stands out as a true solution for the future,” said Chris Cuddy, ADM senior vice president and president of the company’s Carbohydrate Solutions business.


Performance Excellence

Manufacturing innovation is the cornerstone of a sustainable process. Our operations team takes an innovative approach to continuous improvement, using advanced analytical tools to enhance troubleshooting and optimization of our processes. While these efforts have a significant impact on the bottom line, they also help us reduce our global footprint. In 2020, our efforts to improve yield and operational stability resulted in lower chemical, energy and water usage.


Refined Oil Neutralization

Recently, our colleagues in Hamburg took a data-driven approach to assess operational performance across our facilities. Leveraging the data output, we designed, implemented, then replicated projects across the organization.

For example, to improve the performance of chemical additives in the oil neutralization process at our refineries in North America, the team collected all the relevant process data and wrote a machine-learning algorithm to model the existing process. Based on the model output and after validation by the process experts, we implemented new process parameter settings. This allowed us to reduce chemical usage while maintaining product quality.

The recommended processing parameters were implemented at several facilities with impressive results. One canola refinery lowered its citric acid consumption by 40% during the first month. At a corn and soybean oil refinery, the new parameters lowered caustic consumption by 94,000 pounds/month. The reduction in citric acid usage corresponds to 14 fewer trailers purchased and brought onsite each year and the reduction in caustic consumption equates to 24 fewer trailers. In addition to the chemical savings, the reduction in side reactions led to more oil being sold as oil instead of as animal feed. Efforts around chemical reduction and yield increases during the neutralization process continue across our North America, EMEAI, and South America oilseeds facilities.


Wet Mill Operation

Corn wet milling operations are complex processes with numerous recycle streams, process constraints, and lots of processes that must run ‘just right’ to keep the process stable. This interconnectedness means that any adjustment causes changes to many other variables, which makes finding optimal values for any one part of the mill difficult. By leveraging a model that accounts for all variable interactions, ADM optimized all parameters at once, leading to an increase in mill starch, protein and oil recovery. This increased the amount of product produced without increasing the raw material inputs such as corn, chemicals, water, and energy. Moving forward, our Focused Improvement and Analytics team will work to replicate this optimization model in all ADM wet mills.

By using this innovative, data-driven approach, we optimized processes throughout the company, driving value and lowering our industrial footprint. By replicating these projects at additional facilities, we can quickly bring these benefits to our operations around the globe. Our journey does not stop with these projects. We will continue to leverage our Performance Excellence team to assess and implement projects that protect our environment.


ADM BioSolutions

We are seeing a rapid acceleration of key trends in food security, sustainability and innovative nutrition, with global customers increasingly wanting global solutions to serve their growing needs in traceability, food safety and availability, climate-change mitigation and overall nutritional quality. With these trends in mind, we’re determined to continue integrating, broadening and globalizing our portfolio of sustainable solutions in our efforts to meet customer needs and seize growth opportunities in the market. We have created a new BioSolutions Platform within our Carbohydrate Solutions Business Unit that will focus on plant-based renewable solutions for industrial applications such as paper and packaging, construction materials, plant health, fermentation and home and personal care. This new platform, along with our R&D partnerships, have positioned ADM as a key player in the BioSolutions space.


Plant-based Superabsorbent

ADM is working with LG Chem to jointly develop a route to produce plant-based acrylic acid. Through ADM’s recent investments in microbial solutions and competency in fermentation technology and LG Chem’s strength in chemical catalysis, our partnership is poised to deliver a bio-based superabsorbent alternative to downstream customers. Preliminary analysis estimates this new alternative could cut the greenhouse gas footprint of the disposable diaper industry in half.


Replacing Silicone with Terpenes

For many years, silicone polymers — such as dimethicone — have been used in cosmetic products to provide smoother coverage, skin softening, and frizz reduction, and as emulsifiers and surfactants. ADM has partnered with P2 Science, which has discovered a way to leverage terpenes (compounds naturally present in citrus plants) as a plant-based alternative to silicone polymers. The team at ADM is helping P2 make the most of their technology by optimizing access to feedstocks. By leveraging ADM feedstocks and technology, we are helping P2 position their products competitively in the market. At the same time, we are helping our customers reformulate products to meet or exceed performance expectations, while providing consumers with clean-label, plant-based alternatives.


Renewable Green Diesel

We see a growing interest from our customers to address the carbon intensity of the products and ingredients they are using as food ingredients, feed ingredients, fuels of the future, packaging materials and a whole host of other industrial products as well. To that end, we are excited about the expansion of Renewable Green Diesel (RGD) and the role we can play as a feedstock supplier and partner to RGD producers. In 2020, we saw additional capacity come online and more is planned over the next five years. Our expertise in the industry has us well positioned to be a go-to partner with innovative solutions for our customers. For the foreseeable future, biofuels, including RGD, will play an important role in decarbonizing the global economy. Using our expertise in biofuels, technology and sustainable sourcing, we can reduce the carbon intensity scores of existing vegetable oils, integrating our technology into the production process and working with growers to lower emissions on the farm.