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Insect Protein Available Next Year

MISSISSIPPI - Neptune Industries, Inc. an innovative aquaculture technology company with interests in production system technology, food science, sustainable seafood has announced that Phase II trials on it's novel insect-based dietary protein Ento-Protein(TM) have been successfully completed.

These trials represents the pivotal milestone in developing a viable dietary protein alternative to fishmeal in the $7 billion dollar market for fishmeal. Phase I selected four species of suitable insects based upon a myriad of key production and nutritional parameters. This type of alternative protein source is preferred alternative, because vegetable-derived proteins are not well tolerated or digested by carnivorous fish, such as Salmon and trout.

Developing the insect-derived protein has been a collaborative venture between Neptune Industries and Mississippi State University. Research has been underway since January 2007 and the phase II trials have been conducted co-operatively between the university's department of Entomology, Wildlife and Fisheries, and Food Science and Technology.

Fish eat flies, natually: A newly developed insect protein could reduce aquaculture's relieance on fishmeal.

The latest studies compared juvenile hybrid striped bass fed on a typical fishmeal-based diet, with those fed with Neptune's Ento-Protein. Results indicated that the fish fed with insect-derived product had the same behavioral patterns and were not compromised in any way. The trials also proved that fish fed the diet including Ento-Protein actually tasted better than those fed fishmeal.

Optimal blend
Final development work is now underway to establish an optimal blend of insect species for fish production. The selection will be primed to achieve the fastest growth rates and optimum digestibility in farm raised fish.

Neptune says the investigations will be completed by the spring 2008, and the first pilot studies will follow. It plans to launch the product commercially by the end of next year.

Dr. Patti Coggins, Director at Mississippi State's Department of Food Science and Technology said that the results of the sensory evaluation comparing the taste, texture, aroma, and appearance of the fish given Ento- Protein were very encouraging.

"A sensory panel of experts actually favored the flavor of the fish fed with the Ento-Protein diet over fish on the traditional fishmeal based diets. Also worth mentioning was the break through observation that both the raw and cooked fish had less of a 'fishy' aroma due to the Ento-Protein feeding. This could be seen as a positive attribute for many potential consumers and positively impact the way alternatives for fish feed are viewed," she added.

President of Neptune Industries, Ernest Papadoyianis said that the Phase II results set the stage for providing a global solution to the protein shortage that has been plaguing the global aquaculture market.

Ellen Hardy

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