The project idea is to use food waste and forestry waste streams to produce high quality protein and lipid, provided by insect larvae and microorganisms, in the next generation of aquaculture feed.
There is an increasing shortage of available high quality proteins for feed. More than half of all aquatic species is now produced by aquaculture. Aquaculture production will double in the next 15 years and so will the need for protein in aquafeed. Production of fishmeal is falling short and prices are today around 2000 USD/ton. Fishmeal is the preferred protein source for fish, since it is highly digestible and correctly balanced.
Increased consumer and environmental awareness have resulted in development in other directions, as substantial amount of worldwide wild fish catch is processed into fishmeal and fish oil for feed production, raising concerns regarding the sustainability of this arrangement. The industry’s growing need for feed therefore require new approaches.
With regards to both resource utilisation and environmental issues, it is therefore important to look at other biological streams as raw material sources for fish feed, such as transformation of organic streams through single cell organisms and insects.
This project focuses on turning waste streams into valuable products. Organic chemicals found in pulp mills steams for cellulose fiber production can be used to grow fungi and turned into Single Cell Proteins (SCP), suitable as protein-rich components in fish feed. Due to the low protein content of waste materials from agriculture and fish processing, this raw material is not suitable for direct use in fish feed. The black soldier fly larvae (BSF) are very efficient in transforming such waste streams into high quality protein and oil ingredients. Based on the available waste streams, several thousand tonnes of both SCP and BSF can be produced at a very favorable price compared to the current price and quality of fishmeal.
In the first year of the project, the consortium has been able to produce the amount needed of SCP to start fish feeding trials. Up to five different inclusion levels will be tested in feed for Arctic char the coming winter. The BSF meal will be based on different substrate trials, using different inclusion levels of fish offal and other organic material to get the optimum nutritional composition in the larvae. Based on the results from these trials, SCP and BSF meal will be produced in larger quantities and tested on larger fish.
The partners in ProffAqua are all specialists in their field, including MATIS Food and Biotech R&D, SP Processum AB and Domsjö Fabriker which develop and produce the SCP meal. Viur Farmed Insects, which provide the BSF meal, and Danish R&D partners DTU and DTI.