March 6, 2023


BioMar's feed found to fulfill expectation of low phosphorus emissions




Results of the Hav-Tek project, supported by GUDP, indicated that BioMar's high-tech feed, which has a reduced phosphorus content and was developed under the feed concept Blue IMPACT, meets the expectation of low phosphorus emissions, thus contributing to sustainable development within aquaculture.


The green transition of trout farming in sea cages is underway with BioMar's feed concept Blue IMPACT, which takes into account the environmental impact of aquaculture feed on the planet.


In 2019-2022, the purpose of the GUDP Project, Hav-Tek, headed by DTU Aqua, was to strengthen environmental-technical solutions for improved trout farming in sea cages.


Together with Dansk Akvakultur, AquaPri, DTU Aqua and DTU-Mek, BioMar is a project partner.


A focus area of the Hav-Tek project was to investigate how to reduce the level of phosphorus contained in fish feed. The test feed was tested at a sea farm to document, if possible, improved environmental and production conditions.


The project has now been completed, and it became evident during the presentation of its results in January 2023 that the feed utilised in the trial, Blue IMPACT Aqua by BioMar, which contains a reduced amount of phosphorus, meets the expectation of low phosphorus emissions.


Blue IMPACT was introduced in 2020. At the same time, feed range Blue IMPACT Aqua was launched, the first feed series developed according to this concept and developed in collaboration with BioMar's customers. Its purpose is to reduce the total phosphorus content of the feed by making phosphorous more available to the fish.


Additionally, the aim of Blue IMPACT Aqua is to increase fish production on a specific phosphorus discharge target.


When developing Blue IMPACT Aqua, BioMar applied its know-how on phytic acid, which is an organic acid, and the enzyme named phytase. When bound to a mineral, phytic acid is called phytate. Phytates are stored in plants, for example, in all kinds of grain.


About 2/3 to 4/5 of the phosphorus content in grain are phytic acid compounds. The phytic acid content in feed not only affects the availability of the phosphorus bound in the plant raw materials, but also the digestion of macro- and microminerals. Phytic acid is therefore interesting in terms of physiology of nutrition.


But just like humans, fish cannot absorb phytic acid into their bodies - it is excreted as insoluble calcium salt, and part of the valuable phosphorus and other minerals contained in the feed therefore disappears with the faeces, without having contributed to cover the nutritional requirements of the fish.


To meet the need of fish for phosphorus, inorganic phosphorus has traditionally been added to the feed. Inorganic phosphorus is primarily found as a phosphate in various minerals and is mined in phosphate-rich mountains.


Phytase is an enzyme that catalyses the removal of phosphate from phytic acid or phytate. If phytase is added to the feed, the ability of the fish to digest and absorb phosphorus from vegetable raw materials may improve. Fish need to absorb a certain amount of phosphorus to meet their nutritional needs for natural growth, sexual maturation and development of eggs.


The increased absorption of phosphorus and minerals from plant-based raw materials obtained by adding phytase means that the nutritional needs of the fish for phosphorous can be met by adding less inorganic phosphorus to the feed.


Blue IMPACTT feed can reduce the amount of undigested feed excreted to the marine environment. Additionally, there will be less need to use the limited resources of phosphorus.


BioMar continuously follows up on customers' experience regarding the feed containing less phosphorus. The content of phosphorus in Blue IMPACT Aqua is 0.6 %. Customer feedback indicated that the feed results in strong improvements in growth, roe production, the pigmentation of the fillet and meat texture.


By ensuring increased digestibility of phosphorus, reduced phosphorus release and increased fish production, Blue IMPACT Aqua supports aquaculture by improving the efficiency of phosphorus consumption and therefore protecting the resources of the planet.

- BioMar

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