Fishmeal and algae facilities. (Photo: PetroAlgae/FIS)
Replacement for menhaden fishmeal developed
Monday, November 08, 2010, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
PetroAlgae Inc has informed that a third party study by the University of Idaho’s Aquaculture Research Institute has determined a replacement for high quality menhaden fishmeal fed to farmed tilapia. PetroAlgae protein concentrate (PPC) produced as a co-product along with the renewable fuel feedstock using the firm's micro-crop technology system can replace the fishmeal protein at levels up to 100 per cent in the feeds.
"We are very encouraged by the results of this extensive study because they point to PetroAlgae protein as a highly desirable replacement for fishmeal at a time when feed demand is expected to increase dramatically in the face of limited traditional supply," said Dr Ronald W Hardy, who ran the study.
PPC, the study also concluded, would work as a fishmeal replacement for other farmed fish.
The production of tilapia, one of the largest-volume fish species in aquaculture, is anticipated to grow from 2.8 million tonnes to more than 9 million tonnes by 2020, which will necessitate 13 million tonnes of feed as opposed to the current 8 million tonnes, the study said.
Micro-crop farms using PetroAlgae's technology are greatly prolific and locally grow new sources of protein resistant to local diseases.
According to the study, PPC can substitute fishmeal protein up to 100 per cent in feeds for tilapia while providing growth performance similar to fishmeal. Further, when combined with fishmeal, PPC led to higher fish weight gain than with fishmeal alone.
PPC does not change the composition of tilapia or increase the fish’s mortality rates.
The study thus indicates that PPC is a safe feed ingredient. It yields highly digestible nutrients and is exceptionally apposite for producing low pollution feeds which slash environmental contamination in dense aquaculture sites.
"PetroAlgae micro-crop protein presents a unique and sustainable route to a new, large-scale protein source to overcome the significant challenge of replacing fishmeal in aquaculture diets," said Hardy.
The International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Association (IFFO) calculated that each ton of fishmeal travels an average of 5,000 km before it reaches its end-user.
Conversely, PPC allows for a shortened supply chain and reduces business risk, as micro-crop farms using PPC can be located nearby. Other environmental plusses include diminished pressure on wild stocks, lower risk of zoonotic disease, a positive carbon balance and a route to renewable fuel additive to the food and feed chain.
Melbourne, Florida-based PetroAlgae is a renewable energy company that licenses and deploys the leading biomass production platform to meet growing global demand in the energy and agriculture markets.
- Fishmeal and fish oil sector must show sustainability: IFFO
By Natalia Real