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The fish feed that grows on trees

9 August 2019, at 6:58am

A series of new studies suggest that a form of protein extracted from wood has significant potential as a replacement for fishmeal in aquafeeds.

Arbiom, a US-based agriculture-biotechnology company which specialises in converting wood into food, has announced the results of new scientific studies evaluating its product as an alternative protein ingredient for use in aquafeed.

The studies, conducted in collaboration with researchers at Texas A&M University, were designed to compare Arbiom’s protein product SylPro to conventional plant and animal protein sources, evaluating both its material handling properties and nutritional performance.

A pine forest as seen from the air
Arbiom's SylPro is a single-cell protein produced using wood-derived media in fermentation and final downstream processing to achieve appropriate properties as a viable replacement for fishmeal or plant protein concentrates

“The results of these studies are a critical and promising step in validating the effectiveness of SylPro as we continue to scale-up Arbiom’s wood to food platform and bring our first commercial product to the market,” said Ricardo Ekmay, PhD, Arbiom’s vice president of nutrition.

SylPro is a yeast single-cell protein (SCP), that is produced using wood-derived media in fermentation and final downstream processing to achieve appropriate properties as a viable replacement for fishmeal or plant protein concentrates. Arbiom’s product has been developed to solve the challenges of protein sourcing and gastrointestinal health for aquaculture and livestock producers.

An initial trial assessing the material handling characteristics of SylPro suggest that it performs well in a range of extrusion conditions at varying inclusion levels in extruded feed. Results also highlighted additional functional binding properties conferred, which suggest SylPro could reduce the need for binding agents. The study concludes that Arbiom’s protein ingredient behaves similar, or superior, to conventional protein ingredients in extruded feeds. The results were also presented at the 2019 World Aquaculture Society conference in New Orleans.

In a second study, the nutritional performance of SylPro was evaluated in hybrid striped bass. Feeds were formulated with Arbiom’s high-protein ingredient at various inclusion rates. Growth (body weight), body composition, nutrient digestibility and general gastrointestinal health were evaluated over the course of a 60-day period.

The study results showed no differences in mortality or feed intake across all diets. There was no statistical difference in body weight gain or feed intake up to the 20 percent inclusion level of Arbiom’s protein compared to the control diet. Further, SylPro showed an exceptional crude protein digestibility of 97 percent. These findings indicate that SylPro can be used to replace fish meal or plant-based proteins in hybrid striped bass diets and deliver equivalent nutritional performance as conventional protein sources up to 20 percent inclusion level.

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“We believe SylPro will make a valuable contribution to addressing the challenges faced by aquaculture producers and feed formulators. The results from recent and future trials will continue to demonstrate science-backed performance of SylPro and accelerate our efforts to bring this superior protein source to the market,” said Marc Chevrel, Arbiom CEO.