The initial target for DHA Natur is the aquaculture industry and the move is part of an effort to increase ADM’s presence in that sector, Peter Bergstrom, international business manager for ADM Animal Nutrition, told FeedNavigator. He said there is huge interest from global companies operating in that space to alternatives to finite marine resources.
Fish oil has traditionally been sourced from either farm-raised or wild caught fish, but current global fish stocks have been dwindling.
The limited supply, increasing use and rising cost generated interest in finding a replacement for the fish derived long chain omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), critical for humans and animals, including fish, for healthy growth and development, said ADM.
“DHA is important to our aquaculture customers, so that is where we started,” said Bergstrom. ADM Animal Nutrition, he said, is also looking to develop additional products as part of its strategy to increase its global presence in the aqua feed segment.
"We are working on gaining approvals for the US and Canadian markets for DHA Natur," continued Bergstrom. “The regulatory approval process requires thorough testing and documentation for bringing new products to market, but the product is currently approved for the aqua industry in the EU, Australia and Chile,” he added.
The algae biomass needed to produce DHA Natur is being generated through a heterotrophic fermentation process at the company’s facility in Clinton, Iowa, he explained. That plant has in built production flexibility, allowing for capacity expansion depending on global demand.
“As a sustainably produced DHA source that is derived from algae, DHA Natur provides an important solution for the aquaculture industry, and we see a lot of growth potential in this market,” he said.
He said the product could, potentially, also be used with other species including poultry and swine or dairy cattle.
The product includes about 17-20% DHA mixed with a meal product, said the company.
“Our strain of DHA compares well with various types of fish oil,” said Bergstrom. “The product contains high consistent levels of DHA, which is a benefit. It is also plant-based and made in a sustainable manufacturing process.”
Recent months have seen other producers getting on board the algae sourced DHA band wagon.