December 2, 2015


US scientist develops new soy feed for aquaculture



Most aquaculture fishes sold in the US, including tilapia, Atlantic salmon and catfish, are commonly fed with pellets made of anchovy, menhaden and herring, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.


In recent times, the supply of these ingredients stagnated and spiked the cost of producing pellet feeds as consumer demand rises, according to South Dakota State University's professor, Mike Brown.


Those resources has been "fully exploited", Brown explained, hence his purpose to develop a soy protein feed which could assuage fishes' appetite as well as cutting down the sourcing of wild fish as food used in aquaculture farming.    


Furthermore, soybean meal would be cheaper, at US$425 per tonne, compared to conventional feed which costs between US$1,450 and US$2,000 per tonne.


With the new soy feed, fish's digestion of available protein and energy was raised to more than 95%, through pre-treatments and microbial fermentation, Brown added. He had, in fact, prepared small commercial validation trials as his team looks to debuting the product in the market.


However, not all expressed optimism about Brown's project.


Environmentalists are concerned about water pollution from excess waste released by fishes when they are fed with new food sources. This would render aquaculture a damaging activity to the environment, Patty Lovera, the assistant director of sustainability group, Food & Water Watch, warned.


Sceptical that fishes could properly ingest food which they are not meant to consume, Lovera also highlighted the combined environmental impact of the aquaculture sector and crop productions supporting the industry.

Video >

Follow Us