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Applications of ASTAXANTHIN KRILL OIL in shrimp diets

by Dr Lena Burri, Aker BioMarine Antarctic AS, Lysaker, Norway


he Antarctic krill fishery is one of the worlds most sustainable fisheries. Aker BioMarine is specifically known for near-zero by-catch, fully transparent operations and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, the highest sustainability standard for fisheries worldwide. Furthermore, the krill fishery received an ‘A’ rating from the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership as the only reduction fishery in the world that is in ‘very good’ condition. Inasmuch, krill products made from Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) provide a sustainable source of important nutrients and feed attractants. While krill meal is characterised by a high content of proteins and omega-3 phospholipids, astaxanthin krill oil contains no protein, instead is rich in neutral lipids and astaxanthin. Its beneficial effects and how it can be used in high performance shrimp feed is summarised in this article.

where they are harvested from the wild. Even though Antarctic krill are only about five centimeters in length, they represent one of the largest biomasses on Earth with around 500 million metric tonnes. They are shrimp-like in appearance, with big black eyes and a reddish, semi-transparent shell (Figure 2). They often aggregate in large, dense swarms stretching for tens of kilometres. Krill uses their specialised filtering apparatus in their front legs to help them feed on microscopic algae. Because krill feed on algae that can produce omega-3 fatty acids, the krill themselves become rich in accumulated fatty acids. The same algae that provides the krill’s diet with omega-3 fatty acids is also the source of the antioxidant astaxanthin. This natural astaxanthin is enriched in astaxanthin krill oil and gives it its distinctive red color and acts as a natural preservative, protecting the omega-3 fatty acids from oxidation. Figure 2: Green microscopic algae are visible in the stomach of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba).

Krill is an underutilised marine raw material

Euphausia superba, also called ‘Antarctic krill’, is the most dominant krill species in the icy cold waters surrounding Antarctica,

Figure 1: Astaxanthin krill oil from Aker BioMarine Antarctic AS is produced from Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba)

14 | November 2017 - International Aquafeed

NOV 2017 - International Aquafeed magazine