References Fish

Industry-related knowledge helps Luke employees determine key research questions.

The customer

The Finnish animal feed producer Raisioagro Ltd; Savon Taimen Oy and Taimen Oy, Finland’s largest farmers of rainbow trout; and fish processing company Ab Chipsters Food Oy. The National Institute on Health and Welfare and the Department of Food Chemistry at the University of Turku also participated in the project.

The need

As the world’s fish resources dwindle, the use of marine feed ingredients in animal feeds has to be re-considered, and such feed ingredients needs to be replaced with other alternatives. Because of the availability and price of fish oil, cutting down on its use makes sense both ecologically and economically. However, giving up fish oil would diminish the amount of beneficial fatty acids, EPA and DHA, in people’s diets, because we only get these from seafood. Fatty acids EPA and DHA play a significant role in our cardiovascular health. The fish also get them from their feed – the rainbow trout in the form of fish oil.

The solution

Optimisation of the fat content of the fish, the quality of the fat and the use of fish oil was tested in rainbow trout feeding experiments. Some of the fish oil in the feed was replaced by rapeseed oil without compromising the quality of the rainbow trout, keeping the EPA and DHA content in the fish flesh beneficial to consumers.

The effectiveness

A large share of the world’s fish oil is used in the farming of salmon and rainbow trout. By optimising the feeding of the fish, the use of fish oil can be reduced significantly without compromises on the healthiness and compliance with nutritional recommendations of consumer products. In collaboration with the value chain, Raisioagro made plans on how to use the results and launched a Finnish consumer fish brand, Benella Kirjolohi, which the Finnish fish farming industry is already making extensive use of to improve its competitiveness.

The funding

Tekes’ Sapuska programme

Comments from the customer

“The project made use of Luke’s special expertise on aquaculture and fish nutrition. Industry-related knowledge helps Luke employees determine key research questions and then   find research partners whose special expertise helps to attain the goals set.  An extensive network of parties that can make use of the research results guarantees that the results benefit potential users and industries directly.”
Knut-Olof Lerche, Development Manager, Raisioagro Oy/Raisioaqua

Comments from Luke

“It has been inspiring to follow the progress of the project that was carried out in collaboration with a long-standing strategic partner of ours. The project is of true interest to various parties, and all operators in the value chain were taken into consideration. The research data is relevant not only to their everyday operations but also in regard to the continuing operation of the entire industry.”
Asmo Honkanen, Head of Research and Development, Luke

Image at the top: Raisio Oyj