Massachusetts-based biotech company KnipBio has been awarded a grant to study how changes in diet can alleviate enteritis and other diseases in aquaculture.
The company is known for its fishmeal ingredient called KnipBio Meal (KBM), which is derived from microbes instead of wild-caught fish or agricultural crops.
Enteritis is a common diet-related disease in farm-raised carnivorous fish that can lead to slower growth and increased mortality. It is estimated this disease costs the aquaculture industry more than $1 billion per year.
Preliminary feed trials have consistently found that fish and shrimp fed KnipBio Meal experience improved gut health, lower rates of enteritis, and reduced mortality levels compared to populations raised on standard industry diets. The goal of the grant is to study the mechanism by which KBM acts as a prebiotic to affect gut health of rainbow trout and identify the specific components in KnipBio Meal responsible for this effect. It will be conducted over the course of one year and, if successful, may lead to additional funding to commercialize the findings.
The grant was from Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the National Science Foundation.