Team:SDU-Denmark/Tour53

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<span class="intro">The cellulose tank functions as</span> an autoclave when closed and heated. For this purpose the tank has a valve, with
<span class="intro">The cellulose tank functions as</span> an autoclave when closed and heated. For this purpose the tank has a valve, with
which the pressure can be regulated.<br><br>
which the pressure can be regulated.<br><br>
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<a class="popupImg alignRight" style="width:300px" target="_blank" href="http://2014.igem.org/wiki/images/7/77/2014SDUbusinessplan2.png" title="Figure 2: Process diagram of Nutrition Generator.">
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  <img src="http://2014.igem.org/wiki/images/0/05/2014SDUbusinessplan3.png" style="width:300px" />
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Figure 2: Process diagram of Nutrition Generator.
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</a>
<span class="intro">To start the expression</span> of proteins and fatty acids by Edible coli, a small amount of the bacteria is
<span class="intro">To start the expression</span> of proteins and fatty acids by Edible coli, a small amount of the bacteria is

Revision as of 02:14, 18 October 2014

Business plan - Nutrition Generator

Give a man some food, and you feed him for a day, give a man a Nutrition Generator and you feed him for a lifetime

Edible coli is a fantastic bacteria that can be used for many purposes and benefit many people. However, it can be difficult to understand the basic idea behind the innovative bacteria without explaining it with a final product. Therefore, we have written a business plan, describing one of the many possible end products Edible coli can be used for. This business plan explains the implementations of our idea by outlining the amazing food tank: Nutrition Generator.

Please note that the GMO (Gene Modified Organism) legislation does not allow the production and marketing of a Nutrition Generator, as it is not allowed to sell edible gene modified bacteria. Source: Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 concerning the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms and the traceability of food and feed products produced from genetically modified organisms and amending Directive 2001/18/EC (Official Journal L 268, 18/10/2003 P. 0024 – 0028) (Link) The ethical issues about the GMO legislation are discussed on our ethics page. This business plan describes a fictional product idea and not a fully developed and legally tested product.

Nutrition Generator

The Nutrition Generator is an innovative and revolutionary tank that converts biological material that is not degradable by humans into food rich on protein and fat.

Every day people die as a consequence of undernourishment. This is mostly seen in Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America. Source: Save the Children, 2014: Where do we work. (Link) In the early childhood chronic undernourishment can lead to underdevelopment of the brain, a weak immune system, and death. Source: NHC, 2011: Symptoms of malnutrition. (Link) Malnourished people need proteins and fatty acids, which the available resources in low-income countries, as for example Ghana, Congo and India, cannot cover for every single inhabitant. Source: Central intelligence Agency, 2014: The World Factbook. (Link) Nutrition Generator can solve problems with undernourishment and in addition be used all over the world as a supplement for malnourished people, vegans and vegetarians by supplying the right amounts of essential and nonessential amino acids, as well as essential ω3 and ω6 fatty acids.

The product idea

Figure 1: Schematic drawing of the tank. The Nutrition Generator is constructed of two tanks, one bacteria tank and one cellulose tank. The two tanks are connected with a bacterial flow tube, and a bacteria reflow tube with a pump helping the flow. The tubes are equipped with a safety closure system, so that bacteria can only be transferred when needed, and contamination risk is minimized.

The bacteria tank contains Edible coli, a gene modified bacteria that expresses huge amounts of proteins and fatty acids by using cellulose as a carbon source. It is not possible to open the bacteria tank, which avoids contamination by other bacteria or fungi. The tank is designed to contain Edible coli from the beginning, which will reproduce, so that it is not required to change or add new bacteria at any time. Furthermore the tank will contain a pH indicator and a thermometer, so it's easy to keep an eye on and maintain the optimal growth conditions of the bacteria.

The cellulose tank is much larger than the bacteria tank. It has a lid in the top, where cellulose containing materials, e.g. plant material, can be added, and through which the tank can be cleaned. In the bottom of the tank there is a tap where the final product can be tapped.

The cellulose tank functions as an autoclave when closed and heated. For this purpose the tank has a valve, with which the pressure can be regulated.

Figure 2: Process diagram of Nutrition Generator. To start the expression of proteins and fatty acids by Edible coli, a small amount of the bacteria is transferred from the bacteria tank to the cellulose tank. Then cellulose is added into the cellulose tank through the lid. The bacteria will now begin to degrade cellulose and express ω3 and ω6 fatty-acid and OneProt, a protein that contains all the essential amino acids in the right ratio, as well as all the nonessential amino acids. After a while the bacteria is autoclaved, so the end product does not contain any living bacteria.

Before the final product can be tapped, a small amount must be pumped through the bacteria reflow tube into the bacteria tank. The final product functions as media for the living bacteria in the bacteria tank. Now the final product can be tapped and enjoyed. The Nutrition Generator is available as both electric and non-electric version, for which the non-electric version requires heat energy from e.g. a campfire. Specialized staff is only needed when the product is set up. Afterwards the use of the product is very simple and even children can operate the tank. The wear and tear that might appear after long term use can be fixed with simple handyman skills.

Edible coli - The core product

Edible coli is a non-pathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria that is genetically modified. The bacteria is designed with a plasmid, containing the genes for OneProt and ω3 and ω6 fatty acid biosynthesis. The promoters are activated in the presence of cellulose. OneProt is a protein that includes all the essential and non essential amino acids in the right ratio recommended by WHO (World Health Organization). For those wanting Edible coli with taste, the bacteria is also available with a high expressed lemon flavor gene.

Safety

The Nutrition Generator is a safe and closed system and without any risk of bacterial infection. When Edible coli is transferred from the bacteria tank into the cellulose tank, the lid and tap are closed. Furthermore, before the end product is tapped from the tank, the entire contents of the cellulose tank is autoclaved, a process that kill bacteria and other micro-organisms. In that way, no living bacteria will ever escape out of the tank.

Customer base - who is supposed to buy the product

Charitable organizations are the> main customers
The Nutrition Generator is, however, not only useful for undernourished poor people; all people in the world can benefit from the protein and fat rich product of the tank, and therefore also private consumers, public institutions and many more can be customers.

Key partners - with whom do we work

Our main key partners will be charity organizations, as these have a close connection to trouble spots in developing countries, as well as a good contact to supplier and social helpers. In addition we will work together with engineers, who can help us design and develop the product. At least specialized councils can help us solve ethical issues that might emerge.

Consumer - who is supposed to use the product

All people in the entire world are possible consumers of the Nutrition Generator, but as long as people have access to other food sources, we don’t expect that they will consume GMO produced food. The target group is undernourished people in developing countries who don’t have the money and access to protein and fat rich food. But also vegans and vegetarians can benefit from this product, as it is a very good alternative protein and fat source, for those who don't eat animal products.

Demography - where shall our product be used

The target place is where people suffer from undernourishment. As mentioned above Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America are examples of such areas, where many inhabitants are poor and undernourished. The Nutrition Generator may with advantage also be used in crisis areas, e.g. war zones or areas affected by natural disasters. Furthermore, the product is also a great food source for private homes in high-income countries, where people can use the food product as a supplement to the diet.

Transport - how will our product reach the consumer

To meet the main objective of the Nutrition Generator, to provide a food source for poor and undernourished people in low-income countries, we need the help of charitable organizations that deliver and set up our product. Charities often send food and other items to developing countries, and as they know how to do so, they are our perfect partners in this field. Along with the product, there must also be a facilitator present, who can set up the product, and instruct consumers to the use and application of the product.

Funding - who will pay production and costs?

The production of the first Nutrition Generators needs funding by donation, as the target consumers are not able to pay for the product. We expect that the product will be a great success so that, after a while, also well-nourished people, who have access to many different food sources, will buy the product and thus contribute to the production costs.

Competitors

The Nutrition Generator is the first product of its kind and there are no similar products, but products within the same category exist. The international marked offers a wide variety of protein powders that provide the consumer with many nutritional proteins. They are great products, but we don’t see any potential for this to be a food source for undernourished poor people. Protein powders are produced synthetically and must be available in big amounts to cover the daily needs and a new quantity must be delivered very often. It is impossible to deliver protein powder to all undernourished people in the world, as there a too many (805 millions in 2012-2014 Source: (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2014: Hunger Statistics. (Link) ), and it would be very expensive. Furthermore, protein powder needs to be dissolved in a liquid media, which is often insufficient for poor people.
Our OneProt protein, which is produced in the Nutrition Generator, is produced by bacteria that can reproduce themselves. A Nutrition Generator only need to be delivered once and will afterwards produce protein and fat rich food, by cheap and easy accessible materials.

Marketing - our promises to the costumer

The Nutrition Generator can supply the consumer with proteins and fats, food sources that all people need. Everyone can be a consumer of the product, and it is usable with and without electricity, which gives the product multiple applications.
We promise our customers a sustainable product that has a very low cost of operation by the use of materials that are non-degradable by humans and available all over the world. Furthermore the use is safe, as no living bacteria will ever escape from the tank, and as the media is autoclaved before the product is eaten.
We see a great potential for the Nutrition Generator, an easy usable and cheap product that can save many lives.