Skretting recently announced that it is the first major fish feed producer to market salmon feeds that can be formulated completely free of fishmeal.
“These products, called MicroBalance FLX, have been made possible through progressive and extensive research, and are backed up by detailed evidence from Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC),” notes a press release from Skretting.
What this means, says Skretting, is that the company can now be increasingly flexible with raw material inclusions, enabling the available fishmeal resource to go further than in the past.
Research in the early 2000s led to the identification of key micronutrients in the fishmeal profile that are essential to fish, says Skretting. “The latest research is the culmination of decades of investigation, and sees the final piece of the fishmeal puzzle fall into place: with MicroBalance FLX, Skretting now has full flexibility over fishmeal inclusion in salmonid grower feeds.”
“Through our research, we have detailed evidence proving salmonids can be fed with feeds that are devoid of fishmeal,” says Dr Leo Nankervis, Team Leader Salmonid Nutrition at Skretting ARC. “This is very important knowledge that we will utilise to give us even more flexibility with regards to the composition of our commercial feeds.”
Skretting’s Global Product Manager Grower Feeds Sissel Susort points out that although Skretting now has the knowledge and capability to produce fishmeal-free feeds, it does not mean that fishmeal will be eliminated from the products.
“The fact that we can do it is the key point. We will work with our customers when and if they decide to use MicroBalance FLX feeds. The value of this knowledge will increase if fishmeal availability decreases in the future.”
“Fishmeal is a natural and well-balanced source of high-quality protein,” adds Trygve Berg Lea, Sustainability Manager Skretting. “As an ingredient in aquaculture feed, fishmeal carries large quantities of energy per unit weight and is an excellent source of protein, lipids (oils), minerals and vitamins.
Although the availability of MicroBalance FLX feeds mean that fishmeal is now optional in some Skretting salmon diets, fish oil will continue to be a key component.