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The Search For Better Fish Feed

by 5m Editor
24 April 2006, at 1:00am

By Fiskeriforskning - Analyses done by Fiskeriforskning show that the use of natural antioxidants in fish oil and fishmeal works almost as good as the synthetic ones that are being used by feed manufacturers today.

The search for better fish feed - By Fiskeriforskning - Analyses done by Fiskeriforskning show that the use of natural antioxidants in fish oil and fishmeal works almost as good as the synthetic ones that are being used by feed manufacturers today.


Natural or synthetic antioxidants in fish feed? Photo: Frank Gregersen, Fiskeriforskning.
In the production of fish feed, it is still common to use synthetic additives, or antioxidants, to prevent the feed from oxidising and losing quality. In Europe, and particularly in Germany, the consumers are about to turn their backs on synthetic additives.

Away from synthetic additives

Fiskeriforskning was selected to conduct analyses of natural and synthetic antioxidants on assignment from Naturland in Germany. The results show that the natural additives are almost just as effective as the synthetic, which are used extensively in the industry today.

One of these synthetic antioxidants is ethoxyquin (EMQ), which is prohibited for use in foodstuffs in the EU, Japan and Canada. However, it is permitted for use in animal feed.

"Use of legal quantities of synthetic antioxidants are not proven to be dangerous for humans", says Senior Scientist Jan Pettersen who has carried out the analyses, "but there are enough alternative natural compounds that can be used in the production of fish feed".

Works in different areas


Measuring pressure and oxygenlevels. Figure: Jan Pettersen, Fiskeriforskning.
The tests have been done using methods developed by Fiskeriforskning and show that the different antioxidants work differently according to which products they are used on.

For example, the tests showed that ethoxyquin is effective in stopping the oxidation in fishmeal, but has insignificant effect on fish oil.

The report stresses that additional research is necessary to document how the nutritive value in feed is affected by use of the antioxidants, and whether there are health-related problems associated with these additives.

The analyses are done on assignment from Naturland and the project is financed by Coop Naturaplan Fund in Germany.


Source: Fiskeriforskning - March 2006

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