Source: Salmon Farming Industry Handbook 2019, MOWI, pg. 26.
salmon feeds accounting for over 50% of this amount (400,000 MT in 2014).8, 9 Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal-based food producing sector in the world.10 While the aquaculture industry is growing, the availability of long chain omega-3s from wild caught fish is essentially flat. Over the last 10 years, the global Atlantic salmon industry had a 6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) continuously driving demand for long chain omega-3s.11 Continued availability of long chain omega-3s depends on sustainable fishery management policies, productivity of natural systems (which have been impacted by climate change), compliance with country quotas, and other factors.
Microalgae as an alternative to meet rising demand for long chain omega-3s Recognizing this looming resource constraint, the development of alternative sources of long chain omega-3s have been underway for decades. Genetically engineered crops, engineered yeast, and natural marine microalgae have all been contenders. Today, microalgae have emerged as the first commercially viable new source of long chain omega-3s at scale and already incorporated into salmon feed. The advantage is that microalgae are the original source of marine omega-3s (EPA & DHA) and are at the base of the food chain – salmon and other fin fish eat forage fish and accumulate high levels of omega-3s. By growing microalgae on land, feed suppliers can go straight to the source, microalgae, for a traceable, high quality and sustainable alternative for long chain omega-3s.
Source: Corbion Algae Ingredients
One example of a commercial product on the market today is AlgaPrime™ DHA12, produced by the global ingredients company, Corbion. They announced recently that in Norway alone, over 350,000 tons of fish feed with AlgaPrime™ DHA has been delivered to Norwegian salmon farmers since 2016 to improve the omega-3 content and reduce the fish-in, fish-out ratio of farmed salmon.13 When salmon are fed algae-based omega-3s, the fish-in, fish-out ratio often drops below 1:1 – and in some cases as low as 0.5:1.14 As salmon producers look to meet consumers’ expectations for good levels of omega-3s in their salmon and other seafood, additional sources of long chain omega-3s are needed for the growing aquaculture sector. Microalgae-based omega-3s are now produced at scale and offer a sustainable resource to improve omega-3 levels in farmed salmon and beyond. References available on request. More information: Jill Kauffman Johnson Head of Global Market Development Corbion Algae Ingredients, USA E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Compton Yahna Marketing & Communications Manager Corbion Algae Ingredients, USA E: email@example.com
Aquafeed: Advances in Processing & Formulation Vol 11 Issue 3 2019