Cultivation and processing of duckweed as alternative protein crop in Flanders - LemnaPro



Project Summary

LemnaMinorLemna minor (also called water lentils or duckweed) is a small, fast-growing aquatic plant with a high protein content and an amino acid composition very similar to that of soy. This makes it an excellent source of protein for both human food and animal feed. For controlled cultivation for human food, this project is primarily aimed at horticulturalists with fully or partially vacant greenhouses. Since Lemna minor also has the property of efficiently absorbing nutrients from residual waters, this project also focuses on pig farmers with organic manure processing and aquaculture companies on land.

The overall aim of this project is to introduce the cultivation of Lemna minor as a new protein crop in Flanders.

The concrete objectives of the project are:

  1.  Installing 3 company-specific pilot installations and 7 smaller installations at companies from the primary target group to optimise the cultivation of Lemna minor.
  2. Testing and evaluating different wintering methods and cooling techniques.
  3. Optimizing the drying process and protein extraction of water lentils and the evaluation of the nutritional and functional properties of the resulting protein powder and extract.
  4. Processing fresh and frozen water lentils and water lentil powder in a burger for human consumption with optimal nutritional and organoleptic properties.
  5. Testing different silage techniques and optimizing feed chunks based on water lentils.
  6. Collecting knowledge about and following the legislation for the use of water lentils in food and feed


UGent Campus Kortrijk


  • Start: 1th November 2021
  • End: 31th October 2021