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Feeding Beans To Salmon Improves Efficiency

Salmonids Nutrition Health +1 more

GLOBAL - A 2.6 million research project has been launched to find out if faba beans could be used as an alternative to soya in salmon feed.

The four year project is led by animal feed manufacturer, EWOS Ltd. It involves five industrial partners including feed company, BioMar Ltd, and salmon farming company Marine Harvest (Scotland), together with five academic partners.

"Salmon are very efficient converters of protein to meat, much more so than terrestrial animals," said Dr Gavin Ramsay, one of The James Hutton Institute scientists involved.

"This project aims to create a viable and beneficial alternative to soya," he added.

Commenting on the multi-million pound project, Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive, Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, said: "Salmon farming is already a healthy, nutritious and efficient way to produce food."

The project will develop a processes that separates faba bean flour into two fractions one that is high in protein and one that is low in protein and high in starch.

The high protein product will then be tested in fish diets and the low protein product in pig and poultry diets, in order to improve the bean product for those markets and reduce levels of imported soya and fishmeal.

As well as providing new food sources, growing more faba beans will also bring enormous benefits to the cropping system as it helps by fixing nitrogen in the soil, which improves soil fertility for subsequent cereal crops and reduces the need for artificial fertilisers.