DSM Nutritional Products Ltd. in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, and Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH in Essen, Germany, announced July 29 that they have entered into a joint development agreement for algae-based omega-3 fatty acid products for animal nutrition, in particular in aquaculture and pet food applications.
The aim is to meet the increasing demand for omega-3 fatty acids by harnessing naturally occurring marine algae using sustainable, biotechnological processes based on natural, non-marine resources, the announcement said.
Under the agreement, the companies will jointly work on the development of products and explore opportunities for commercialization. The competencies that DSM and Evonik bring to the development partnership complement each other: DSM has expertise in the cultivation of marine organisms and long-established biotechnology capabilities in development and operations, while Evonik's focus for decades has been on industrial amino acid biotechnology executing large-volume fermentation processes.
The envisioned algae-based omega-3 fatty acid products will be high value, natural and sustainable alternatives to fish oil, whose supply is finite. This will help the animal nutrition industry keep up with increasing demand without endangering fish stocks and will contribute to healthy and sustainable animal nutrition, the companies said.
Just like people, animals also need their daily intake of essential, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in their diet to ensure healthy growth. Until now, these fatty acids have been added to aquaculture feed almost exclusively from marine sources such as fish oil and fishmeal. By using algae, DSM and Evonik are looking to contribute to a more sustainable aquaculture industry.
DSM and Evonik expect that in the fourth quarter of 2015, they will be able to report the first results of the algae-based omega-3 fatty acid product development.