Biotech firm aims to use whisky waste as sustainable source of pet food


A SCOTTISH biotech firm have announced the appointment of a pet care specialist to help the firm further its efforts into turning whisky waste products into pet food.

MiAlgae have appointed pet care specialist David Macnair to its board to help it further its work and to help the firm expand internationally.

The firm is hoping to help eliminate wild caught fish as a primary source of Omega-3 in pet food and will instead use waste products from the whisky making process.

David Macnair, MiAlgae - Business News Scotland
Newly appointed pet care specialist David Macnair

Newly appointed Mr Macnair brings 40 years of food industry innovation, with a diverse background and experience holding science and business leadership positions roles at Cadbury Ltd, Mars Inc and Campbell’s Soup Company.

Macnair explains: “I have a great passion for the oceans and health of the marine environment.

“As a diver and underwater photographer, I have seen first-hand the impact we are having on our seas and it is deeply worrying.

“I believe MiAlgae has the potential to make a significant and positive impact on reducing and hopefully eliminating the need for wild caught fish as the source for Omega-3.

“I also believe we can expand MiAlgae’s core technology into other areas to provide environmentally sound and sustainable solutions for waste streams while creating value-added products.  

“Ultimately I want to see good science translated into truly sustainable and environmentally responsible businesses.

 “How we feed our pets mirrors how we choose to eat ourselves.  

A picture of a dog and cat - Animal News Scotland
(Photo by Alec Favale on Unsplash) Pet owners are demanding more than simply ‘pet food’ and the industry is evolving rapidly to truly become ‘pet care’.

“So, everything we value, from the integrity of the ingredients, how the food is prepared and how we feel when we feed it is very important.

“We want to feed our pets well, but responsibly, so increasingly we judge pet foods through the same lens as our own food.

“This will continue to be the case and the industry is moving strongly in this direction.”

MiAlgae creates eco-friendly, nutrient rich animal and fish feed by repurposing ‘waste’ co-products from the whisky distillation process.  

The firm says this adds value to one of Scotland’s most iconic and lucrative industries, while supporting more sustainable practices in the pet food industry.

Douglas Martin, founder and managing director of MiAlgae, said: “David’s eclectic career means he brings huge diversity of experience.  

“He is known for the role he plays in hiring, developing and nurturing talent. 

“We believe he will help us create a team that will have a profound impact on solving major environmental challenges, while creating a truly value-added and sustainable business model.

“The challenges of the past year have underscored the need to prioritise sustainability and accelerate green innovation.

“By utilising coproducts from different industries and implementing innovative biotechnology processes to convert these into added value products, we can protect the environment, whilst building a vibrant economy.”