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Scale Up

Alltech sees big growth in algae for aquaculture

February 15, 2017
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Standing eight stories high, the algae fermentation vessels at Alltech have a 1.2 million liter capacity.

Aquaculture is the fastest-growing segment in the feed industry. According to the 2017 Alltech Global Feed Survey, the aquaculture industry experienced a 12 percent increase in feed production in 2016, to 39.9 million metric tons.

“‘The Fish to 2030: Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture’ report produced by the World Bank states that the projected growth in fed aquaculture over the 2000–2030 period, equivalent to an annual average growth rate of 3.9 percent per year, is much faster than the projected growth in fish oil use in aquaculture, which has an average annual growth rate of 1.7 percent,” said Dr. Keith Filer, project manager for aquaculture research at Alltech. “This is why Alltech is committed to providing a sustainable alternative to fish oil with our algae.”

Alltech has been improving aquaculture performance through nutrition for 13 years, but recent developments have significantly strengthened the company’s efforts to provide a sustainable DHA omega-3 source as an alternative to fish oil. Acquired in 2010, Alltech’s algae plant in Winchester, Kentucky, is one of the largest commercial production sites in the world for algae.

In December 2016, Alltech received registration from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for two of its algae products, ForPlus and All-G Rich™, and the company expects more regulatory bodies internationally to follow the CFIA’s decision.

Coppens International, an innovative Dutch aquatic feed and nutrition company, was acquired in 2016. This acquisition has enabled both companies to benefit from each other’s expertise, including the use of Alltech’s sustainable algal DHA source, ForPlus, to replace fish oil.

Alltech has partnered with several universities and a research institute through formal research alliances to demonstrate the impact of Alltech’s algae solutions in a variety of species:

  • Alltech-Kochi University Research Alliance (Japan) in Japanese yellowtail
  • Alltech-Ocean University of China Research Alliance (China) in turbot and shrimp
  • Alltech-Federal University of Santa Catarina Research Alliance (Brazil) in tilapia
  • Alltech-Kentucky State University (U.S.) Research Alliance in largemouth bass and shrimp
  • Alltech-Nofima (Norway) Research Alliance in Atlantic salmon

Dr. Filer noted that the research alliances’ findings to date “have observed that All-G Rich could replace fish oil in the diets of marine, freshwater and salmonid species while maintaining performance as well as DHA levels in the fillet.”

“We believe we have a real solution in our algae that will reduce reliance on fish oil while increasing the amount of DHA available to farmed fish and, ultimately, to consumers,” said Dr. Jorge Arias, Alltech’s global director for aquaculture.

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