Arbiom, an agricultural biotechnology company developing solutions to convert wood into food, announced the results of recently completed scientific studies evaluating Arbiom’s product as a high-quality alternative protein ingredient for use in aquaculture feed.
The studies, conducted in collaboration with aquaculture researchers at Texas A&M University, were designed to compare Arbiom’s protein product (SylPro) to conventional plant and animal protein sources, evaluating both its material handling properties and nutritional performance, according to the announcement.
“The results of these studies are a critical and promising step in validating the effectiveness of SylPro as we continue to scale up Arbiom’s 'Wood to Food' platform and bring our first commercial product to the market,” said Dr. Ricardo Ekmay, vice president of nutrition for Arbiom.
The product is a yeast single-cell protein (SCP) that is produced using wood-derived media in fermentation and final downstream processing to achieve appropriate properties as a viable replacement for fish meal or plant protein concentrates, Arbiom said. It developed the product to solve the challenges of protein sourcing and gastrointestinal health for aquaculture and livestock producers.
An initial trial assessing the product's material handling characteristics suggest that it performs well in a range of extrusion conditions at varying inclusion levels in extruded feed, the company said. Results also highlighted additional functional binding properties that are conferred, which suggests that the protein ingredient could reduce the need for binding agents. The study concluded that the product behaves similarly to, or better than, conventional protein ingredients in extruded feeds.
The results of that trial were presented at the 2019 World Aquaculture Society conference in New Orleans, La.
In a second study, the nutritional performance of the SCP product was evaluated in hybrid striped bass. Feeds were formulated with Arbiom’s high-protein ingredient at various inclusion rates. Growth (bodyweight), body composition, nutrient digestibility and general gastrointestinal health were evaluated over the course of a 60-day period.
The study results showed no differences in mortality or feed intake across all diets. There was no statistical difference in bodyweight gain or feed intake up to the 20% inclusion level of the SCP compared to the control diet, the company reported.
Arbiom said the results of this second study indicate that its SCP ingredient can be used to replace fish meal or plant-based proteins in hybrid striped bass diets and deliver equivalent nutritional performance as conventional protein sources at an inclusion level of up to 20%.
“We believe SylPro will make a valuable contribution to addressing the challenges faced by aquaculture producers and feed formulators. The results from recent and future trials will continue to demonstrate science-backed performance of SylPro and accelerate our efforts to bring this superior protein source to the market,” Arbiom chief executive officer Marc Chevrel said.
A source familiar with Arbiom indicated that the company will soon be releasing results of research with the SCP ingredient in livestock applications.
Arbiom has developed technology that transforms wood — a highly sustainable and readily available carbon source — into intermediate materials for a range of applications in the feed, food and chemical industries. Arbiom’s technology platform integrates its proprietary enzyme technologies and biomass processing expertise to convert wood into food. Arbiom is partnering with biomass stakeholders and leading firms in aquaculture, biotechnology and bio-based industries to continue developing and scaling up its technology.
Headquartered in Durham, N.C., Arbiom has offices in Paris, France, and Norton, Va., where it operates a pilot plant.