Developing more robust and sustainable salmon through nutritional product innovations and associated scientific documentation is the aim of Alltech’s latest aquaculture collaboration. Alltech, a global nutrition company, has teamed up with leading fisheries and Norway's institute for applied research, Nofima, on six research licenses for salmon farms Blom Fiskeoppdrett, SalmoNor and Salten FoU.
As part of this series of large-scale experiments, industrial production, organic minerals and heterotrophic microalgae will be tested, Alltech said.
The project has been named EINVU, a Norwegian acronym that stands for “nutritional innovations” — the key to solving major welfare challenges, Alltech explained. Over the next three years, trials will be conducted on each farm responsible for operating the licenses. Alltech will supply products for testing and will oversee management of the projects, while Nofima will be responsible for trial design, analysis, interpretation of data and reporting.
“In the project, we want to investigate whether we can achieve positive performance results, similar to what we have seen in small-scale trials. It will be very exciting, because that’s where fish really get challenged,” said Elin Kvamme, project manager at Alltech.
Farms have been chosen to represent three different parts of Norway, all with different operational challenges, the announcement said. During the trial period, the effect of various levels of organic trace minerals and microalgae will be sampled and tested to monitor progress.
From small-scale to commercial production, many factors like operational management and environmental conditions can cause stress for salmon. For example, if temperature fluctuations, oxygen and sea lice infestation occur concurrently, the salmon can become weak, leading to disease and, in some cases, increased mortality, Alltech noted.
“In small-scale experiments with organic minerals, we see that the mineral deposit in the fish is higher, and the fish can better withstand stress,” Kvamme explained. “Growth is also better; we see a lower mortality rate and reduced gaping. When it comes to the use of microalgae in the feed, we have seen increased growth, better pigmentation" and improved levels of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid.
“The future supply of fish oil is uncertain, and alternatives must be sourced. Heterotrophic microalgae have high levels of omega-3, and it is, therefore, appropriate to study the effects of replacing marine raw materials with this sustainable source,” she added.
In 2012, Alltech entered into a strategic collaboration with Nofima to document the effects Alltech products and solutions have on salmon. “We are very pleased that Nofima, a respected research organization, has partnered with us on this journey. All products have been carefully tested and published in reputable journals,” Kvamme said.
With expertise in yeast fermentation, solid-state fermentation and the sciences of nutrigenomics and metabolomics, Alltech is a leading producer of yeast additives, organic trace minerals, feed ingredients, premix and feed. Alltech is a private, family-owned company headquartered just outside of Lexington, Ky.
Nofima is a leading institute for applied research within the fields of fisheries, aquaculture and food research. The head office is located in Tromsø, Norway, with research activities in Alta, Bergen, Stavanger, Sunndalsøra, Tromsø and ÅS.