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AU boosts its research in circular bio-economy with a new professorship

Søren Krogh Jensen has been appointed professor in “Animal food production in circular bio-economy” as of 1 June 2020. With this, the Department of Animal Science, AU, seriously positions itself as one of the leading research institutions in providing sustainable solutions for the future farm animal production – in Denmark as well as internationally.

2020.06.03 | Linda Søndergaard Sørensen

Søren Krogh Jensen has been appointed professor with Aarhus University. Photo: Aarhus University.

Søren Krogh Jensen has been appointed professor with Aarhus University. Photo: Aarhus University.

The global animal food production is facing big challenges due to the need for more sustainable production systems. Today, the dairy and meat production is associated with high environmental impact in form of high carbon footprint, high emissions of greenhouse gases, high land use, loss of nutrients to the environment as well as low biodiversity.

“AU wants to be among the best when it comes to contributing with sustainable solutions for the challenges of farm animal production. To do this, both circular bio-economy and animal food production play a central role”, says Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen, head of Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University.

“Our department already has a strong position within bio-refining and development of protein value chains, including green protein. With Søren Krogh Jensen’s professorship, we will lift this research area to new heights so that animal food production can become an integrated part of the circular bio-economy. In this way, we can obtain a significantly higher level of resource exploitation and recycling and at the same time ensure the nutritional quality of the animal food products”, clarifies Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen.

Throughout Søren Krogh Jensen’s long-standing employment, his research interest has always been the interaction between the feed’s nutrient content and the animals’ productivity, well-being and health, and especially the quality of the animal food products. In recent years, Søren Krogh Jensen’s research has focused on exploiting new sustainable locally produced protein sources and optimising the extraction of protein and other nutrients therefrom for production of feed for both monogastric animals and ruminants, including “green protein” extracted from forages.

“I am really happy that AU has decided to prioritise my research area with a professorship, and I look very much forward to providing my input on how to increase the circularity in the animal food production, including optimising the use of the green biomass to efficiently and environmentally make it a part of the wide range of value chains. I believe that it is a quite determining factor to integrate larger parts of the circle – ideally the entire circle – in order to obtain the maximum benefit from the circular bio-economy research”, says the newly appointed professor Søren Krogh Jensen.

 

Rib harvest of red clover for production of green protein. Photo: Linda S. Sørensen.

 

 

Wide perspectives with biorefining

 

Bio-refining is a cornerstone within the development of circular bio-economy. In the future, a cascade of products with many different applications, including food products, medicine, chemicals, building blocks, energy and more, will be developed and produced. In many cases, a majority of the biomass will be available for feed purposes and contain appreciable amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins and other bioactive components.

“Therefore, it is of outmost importance to ensure that animal nutrition and optimal production of animal food products become an integrated part already in the development of the bio-refining processes in order to secure highest possible utilization of the biomasses and make sure that the processes are developed and fine tuned so the highest nutritional feed quality is obtained. Currently, the quality of many food products produced as side streams from many bio-refining processes – especially the protein quality – faces big challenges in order to meet quality demands for high-value protein sources”, says Søren Krogh Jensen.

In recent years, AU has intensified the research within circular bio-economy – not least with the establishment of Centre for Circular Bio-economy (CBIO). Department of Animal Science holds a large project portfolio in this area of which most of the projects deal with various areas within the bio-economy circle. Søren Krogh Jensen leads one of CBIO’s research areas “Feeds and by-products” and is also part of the CBIO steering committee.

 

Professor Søren Krogh Jensen

  • Born 2 December 1959 on a farm in Haunstrup near Herning.
  • Worked two years as a farm worker before going to college at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (KVL).
  • Educated Cand Agro in 1987 from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (KVL).
  • Finished his business PhD in 1991 from KVL in cooperation with Novo Nordisk (now Novozymes) in a project on the nutritional value of rapeseed protein from hydrous enzymatic extraction of rapeseed.
  • Employed as researcher from 1991 to 1995 at Statens Husdyrbrugsforsøg/Danmarks JordbrugsForskning in the section for Animal nutrition and physiology.
  • Employed from 1995 to 2020 as senior researcher the same place.
  • Appointed professor at Aarhus University as of 1 June 2020.
  • Today, Søren lives on a small farm in Nørreådalen near Bruunshåb. Søren is married and has three grown-up children.
Anis, Cattle, Pigs, Poultry, DCA