Aquaculture for all

Using Underutilised Nutrients to Produce Single Cell Protein for Fish Meal Replacement

Nutrition Husbandry Sustainability +4 more

GLOBAL - Chris Wilcox, Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Nutrinsic, explains how a single-cell protein made from waste nutrients can help replace fish meal in farmed fish diets.

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Fishing and farming has continued to increase in recent years, driven by global demand for protein and currently grows at unsustainable levels. For example, wild fish catch has drastically declined over the last few decades; and fish farming has grown exponentially to make up the difference. Human per capita consumption of fish and meat protein is approximately 20 grams per day, which currently equates to 58.7 million tons per year; and farmed animals and fish need protein to sustain themselves too.

Concomitant with the growth in farmed fish and animals, wild forage fish have been caught at alarming levels in order to create fishmeal, a high quality protein for fish and animal feed.

With Atlantic Coastal Menhaden Abundance (a type of fish used to produce fishmeal) down 86 per cent in 30 years, fishmeal is clearly an unsustainable source of protein for feed. For these reasons, there is a real need for the development of sustainable alternative protein options.

One such option, which addresses the issue of sustainability, in addition to generating a value-added product, is the production of single-cell protein (SCP).

Nutrinsic upcycles underutilised nutrients for food and beverage, biofuel and other industries to produce ProFloc, a sustainable single-cell protein. This patented process creates an ecosystem where natural, non-GMO bacteria can flourish and efficiently convert nutrients into protein. The result is a highly palatable, one-for-one replacement for fishmeal.

This process has been successfully demonstrated with large-scale pilots at several commercial breweries and is being perfected at a major brewery in Trenton, Ohio, USA. In addition, a large number of effluents from other food industries have been successfully used at bench scale in a laboratory.

The basis of the technology entail modification of the aerobic wastewater treatment process to augment protein production by the heterotrophic bacteria responsible for wastewater treatment.

This is accomplished by providing naturally occurring bacteria with additional nitrogen and micronutrients to supplement underutilized water nutrients to produce large amounts of protein efficiently.

This level of nutrient supplementation is not typical in traditional aerobic water treatment and is one feature that makes our process unique.

Another key aspect of the technology is to limit the mean cell retention time in the aerated basins to promote rapid cell growth and turnover and thus a “harvesting” of young cells at peak protein levels.

Harvesting of SCP is a straight forward process of concentrating, drying, sterilising, and packaging.

Nutrinsic’s technology and harvest system can keep aquaculture viable and reduce pressure on wild fish populations, all without taxing the environment. ProFloc is superior in quality and an environmentally friendly protein alternative that has been successfully tested with a variety of aquatic and terrestrial animals.

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