The joint project aims to develop an alternative to the finite source of fish oil for the farmed fish sector and thus to improve the sustainability profile.

As the global supply of fish oil remains unchanged or declines, and the demand for aqua feed increases over the next decade, the need to find alternative sources of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are a major contributor to humans, will also increase Health.

The substitution of fish oil with alternatives such as rapeseed oil adds to the energy requirements of the salmon diet, but does not provide marine omega-3s. Algae are set to offer scientists exciting potential as a sustainable future source of EPA and DHA for use in salmon feed.

DSM communications spokesman Herman Betten said the collaboration with fish feed will leverage DSM’s expertise in algae cultivation and Evonik’s expertise in fermentation and amino acid production on a large scale.

However, it would not rely on the marine algae source being used, the type of production or the location of the facility in question, or the DHA or EPA levels, or both, that are being sought: “The fundamentals for this project are just beginning report on progress in more detail in the fourth quarter of 2015. “

Jürgen Krauter, spokesman for Evonik, also told us that it was “too early” to determine when the project was likely to be realized.

Marine microalgae are already used commercially in higher value nutraceuticals, cosmetics and foods. In November 2013, DSM launched the first highly effective vegetarian DHA and EPA omega-3 oil for human consumption, which was developed from a source of algae.

EPA and DHA replacement projects .

Alex Obach, executive director of the Skretting Aquaculture Research Center (ARC), commented on this release in February that almost 70% of the fish oil in the salmon diet is being replaced by vegetable oils like rapeseed oil in Europe today. Chicken oil is widely used as a salmon feed substitute in America and Asia, he added.

But the essential nutrients in fish oil, EPA and DHA, aren’t that easy to replace, Obach said.

“A lot of research is ongoing in the area of ​​microalgae fermentation, but there is still a lot of work to be done on strain selection to find those rich in EPA or DHA or both, as well as extensive trials on different fish species. .

Yield and productivity need to be improved, and the price per tonne is still a long way off before microalgae can be put on a competitive footing with fish oil, ”he said.

However, Obach said that with patent protection for the expiring technologies, many more players are entering this market and this should help further streamline the process.

“Essentially, there needs to be a balance between DHA and EPA composition in microalgae and yields,” he said.

The Norwegian fish feed manufacturer EWOS is now also involved in the research collaboration in the area of ​​the development of substitutes for marine EPA and DHA sources.

For example, it plays a central role in the CO2BIO project – a network of stakeholders from industry and science that aims to use the purified carbon dioxide emissions from the Mongstad oil refinery in Norway to produce algae for fish feed.

The Norwegian Parliament has made one million US dollars available to the project for a pilot plant to utilize the CO2 generated in the Mongstad CO2 Technology Center (TCM).

The construction of the 300 square meter test facility for algae production should be completed in early 2015. However, Svein Nordvik, who manages the project, said construction was delayed until August. “We will have the opening ceremony in early 2016 and then we will start the research and development work on the basis of algae and CO2 from TCM,” he said.

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