MEMORANDUM FOR: Mr. Robert Windsor
Office of Soviet Unionof Europeanof State
Soviet Single Cell Protein
is our reply to your request concerning Soviet motivations in exchanges on single cell protein technology. If you have further questions, do not
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hesitate to call.
USSR: Single Cell Protein
The USSR has embarkedrogram to expand rapidly
its production of single cell protein (SCP). Although
the technology the Soviets use was probably copiedritish Petroleum, the Soviets have otherwise developed their SCP industry on jtheir own. Thare have been some indications recently that the Soviets want to buy technology and equipment from the West for future expansion of SCP capacity, but it is not clear how serious the Soviets are about buying from the West. It is unlikely, however, that
discussions are far enough alongeal will be signed
in the near term
SCPacteria or yeast that is generated from
fermentation of substances such as petroleum productsellulose. Its main use isrotein supplement in poultry and swine feed rations. It alsobe used in
pre-ruminent cattle rations. It is not fit for human
consumption per se becauseigh nucleic acid content:
urified protein suitable for humans could be
prepared from SCP.
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The Soviets haveajor effort in SCP production. The USSR's SCP production capacity is scheduled toillion tons At least six and possibly
plant* are using petroleum ascarbon source for growing yeast GCP now in operation or under construction. The Soviets reportedly haveolants producing SCP on cellulose hydrolyzates. The payoff in meat production could be significant, but the Soviets are having technical production problems and difficulty in purifying SCP grown on petroleum hydrocarbon substrate.
The Soviets have apparently shown some interest in Western technology and equipment for SCP production, but we know of no negotiations that have progressed beyond initial discussions. Officials from British Petroleumthe firm that developed SCP production processesiscussed Soviet plans to buildon SCP plants valued at someillion. There apparently was some discussion about Bp's participation, but it is not clear which side raised the possibility, nor have there been any subsequent reports
that the discussions have continued. Xn8 officials of the State Committee for Science and Technology requestedS oil company submit answersumber of questions on production of SCP. Apparently the Soviets gave no direct indication at that time that they were interested in buying equipment or technology.