References Environment, Fish

Shared understanding about the industry, its needs and bottlenecks makes collaboration fruitful and creates a foundation for new innovations.

The customer

Raisioagro Oy, a Finnish animal feed producer and expert on feeding solutions

The need

As the world‘s fish resources dwindle, the use of plant ingredients in fish feeds increases. However, the phosphorus in plant ingredients is difficult for fish to digest. This leads to the phosphorus passing through the digestive track of the fish, to be released into the water. Improvements in the digestibility of the phosphorus would promote varied utilisation of feed ingredients and reduce the environmental effects of fish farming.

The solution

A phytase enzyme, which improves the digestibility of phosphorus in plant feedstuffs, is added to the feed. In the past, phytase-enhanced feed has been used in other animal production sectors. At Luke, the functionality of the phytase enzyme was verified in experiments with fish.

The effectiveness

The release of phosphorus from fish farming into waterways can be limited by adding a phytase enzyme into the feed to improve the digestibility of phosphorus. Because this reduces the phosphorus load significantly, the same environmental permit allows for the farming of more fish. In addition, the use of the enzyme creates more opportunities for using various feed ingredients: the share of plant feed ingredients can be increased and the share of dwindling marine-sourced ingredients reduced. Finnish fish feeds have contained this enzyme since 2009, and it gives Finnish feed producers a significant competitive edge over foreign producers.

The funding

Commissioned study

Comments from the customer

“The project made use of Luke’s special expertise on aquaculture and fish nutrition. Shared understanding about the industry, its needs and bottlenecks makes collaboration fruitful and creates a foundation for new innovations.”
Knut-Olof Lerche, Development Manager, Raisioagro Oy

Comments from Luke

“It is rewarding to work with the production of new solutions. In this case, the solution was a new feed containing an enzyme, brought to the market by a partner company, which sold well from the beginning. The product benefited the environment, fish farmers and feed manufacturers alike. When developing the phytase enzyme, we collaborated with our international partners Roche and DSM from the year 2000. We got to see the entire process required to develop a feed supplement and to have it approved by European authorities before using it.”
Jouni Vielma, Senior Research Scientist, Luke

Image at the top: Markus Kankainen