Since 2012 Optiline Premium has been a success for salmon farmers. Manufacturers around the world have asked for a similar concept for trout, a segment that has been struggling with challenges such as high feed conversion rate, excess intestinal fat and early maturation. Skretting's Premium feed meets these challenges and on 1 January 2015 the sought-after Premium Trout feed will be globally launched.
Tested in Norway
"High energy feed for trout has previously been tested with great results. But until now we had not tested how Premium's micro-ingredients would work on trout," said Project Manager Hege Lysne.
In collaboration with Lerøy Vest/Sjøtroll Havbruk, Skretting has been conducting a large-scale trial in seven cages in Osterfjorden in Norway since spring 2013.
Around 880,000 fish have been included in the trial. Whilst the fish in four of the cages were given Premium feed, the control fish in the other three cages were given standard trout feed. In the trial, Premium feed was given once the fish reached a weight of 600 grams.
Throughout the entire process the employees at the site have been reporting production data and assisted Skretting in the work on conducting quality analyses.
Better than expected
In May the harvesting of the fish began. The last fish was harvested this September. The preliminary results confirm that Premium Trout results in better growth, reduced feed conversion rate and increased slaughter yield. In certain areas performance is even better than expected.
"Based on the experiences for Premium for salmon we anticipated that the slaughter yield would be around 1 percent higher with the Premium feed. The trial shows that the improvement in slaughter yield is even greater for trout. Measurements taken from the processing plant show that Premium Trout provides two per cent higher slaughter yield compared to the control feed," Lysne explained.
This results in an increased share of marketable fish, which in turn results in substantial profit for the fish farmer.
The harvesting data also shows that Premium Trout results in a six per cent better growth. The figures reported by the site also show that the feed conversion rate was reduced by 0.11 units in favour of Premium. Quality analysis of the fish shows that the fat content of the fillet is around 0.8 percentage points higher in Premium-fed fish.
"This corresponds to the theory. Premium changes the way in which fat is distributed in the fish, more fat is embedded in muscle and less is lost in the form of intestinal fat and gutting loss," said Lysne. This is a great way of maintaining the healthy marine fatty acids EPA and DHA.
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