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FEATURE

High in protein and highly digestible: feather meal as alternative to FIshmeal

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by Sophie Gregoire, Soleval, France

oleval is a leading French supplier of land animal proteins that have been used for many years as nutritional ingredients in the pet food sector. The company is known and recognized for the safety of its products, based on EU regulation* for animal byproducts (the strictest in the world) and their nutritional value. After the reintroduction of PAPs (Processed animal Proteins) into the European Aquafeed market in June 2013, Soleval naturally ventured into this new market. A real force in its market, the company decided to enlarge its offer to fish feed producers with a range of poultry proteins dedicated to premium formulations. Looking for the highest protein content and the best digestibility, Soleval also developed two years ago a range of innovative feather meals called Hypro TM providing excellent nutritional performances.

Nutritional performance in terms of protein content and digestibility

Considering the carbon footprint of aquafeed and the evergrowing price of traditional fish ingredients, this new feather meal appears as a valuable protein source to be used to replace wild fishmeal. Facing an increasing demand in the aquaculture sector, fish feed producers and farmers using this new feather meal may find a chance to diversify their supply, lower their carbon impact and reduce logistics costs while maintaining growth performance due to the nutritional quality of the feather meal in terms of digestibility and capacity to provide essential nutrients. According to Mélanie Guédon, responsible for the Aquafeed markets at Soleval, “Processed animal Proteins (PAPs) contain

a lot of interesting nutrients like digestible proteins and amino acids. Feather meal is also very interesting”. However, facts and figures are more credible than promises therefore Soleval decided to support its offer with external studies. Results from a recent growth trial suggested that replacing fishmeal by PAPs shows better results than replacing it with vegetable proteins. It is actually possible to replace 100 percent of the fishmeal in the diet of Nile tilapia with equivalent fish growth. This study was conducted in 2014-2015 by Soleval with Dr Wutiporn Phromkunthon, Associate Professor at the Department of Aquatic Science, Prince of Songkla University (Thailand) who assessed the effect of using poultry proteins on growth performance. The first results were very encouraging. They demonstrate how important it is for PAPs used in fish feed formulations to provide specific guarantees not only in terms of protein content, but also and above all, in terms of digestible protein content. This is the reason why Soleval decided to strengthen its existing offer of poultry proteins and develop a new range of premium hydrolyzed feather meal. Melanie explains, “Soleval has a competitive advantage in terms of innovation and development. We are part of Tessenderlo Group, an international speciality group with a global presence providing solutions for needs in food, agriculture, water management and efficient use and re-use of byproducts. Our mother company has a unique R&D center located in Belgium with experienced researchers, pilots and laboratories equipped with cutting-edge instruments”. As a result of this support, R&D Soleval teams were able to develop this new range of hydrolyzed feathers. The first Hypro TM feather meals are now produced in France

24 | March 2017 - International Aquafeed

MAR 2017 - International Aquafeed magazine