DHA product for aqua feed wins international innovation prize

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/DmitriyDanilchenko
© iStock/DmitriyDanilchenko
Feed ingredient, AlgaPrime DHA, developed jointly by Bunge and Corbion, took top honors fat at the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s innovation competition at the GOAL in Dublin last week.

The fish feed ingredient product is produced by Bunge Limited and Corbion NV [In September, Corbion completed the purchase of TerraVia, which had worked on AlgaPrime DHA with Bunge] at a joint venture facility in Brazil.

Development of a DHA feed ingredient was of interest to the New York-based company for several reasons, said Miguel Oliveira, vice president of global innovation with Bunge Limited. “Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food production systems in the world, and AlgaPrime DHA is a great fit with Bunge’s expertise and capabilities,”​ he added.

“The joint venture leverages Bunge’s global presence in food/feed markets and large-scale processing experience, along with our partner Corbion’s innovative micro algae platform, to commercialize products in the emerging area of high-value ingredients for human and animal nutrition,” ​he told FeedNavigator. “It has also allowed Bunge to connect two important value chains (sugar and vegetable oils) in a unique way that is providing interesting innovation possibilities.”

The venture is currently producing about 1,000 tons of AlgaPrime, and has seen a positive market response to the feed ingredient, he said.

Award details

Steve Hedlund, communications manager with Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) told us about the idea behind the innovation award:

“We wanted to do something to recognize those who go above and beyond the requirements of the Best Aquaculture Practices standards.

“By recognizing innovators and publicizing their innovations through our communications outlets, we hope to encourage more innovation and help innovators connect with people they may not otherwise connect and network with.”

The organization considers the award to be “pre-competitive,” ​and a way to promote the idea of responsible aquaculture.

The 2017 competition included 18 applicants, with several of the innovations pertaining to the aquafeed  sector, the GAA said.

Focus on aquaculture and feed

Producing the algae-based feed ingredient is one way to address the ongoing growth in aquaculture and demand for seafood, said Oliveira.

“We’re currently producing DHA-rich micro algae at commercial scale at our joint venture facility in the São Paulo state of Brazil with some of the world’s largest aerobic fermenters, and we expect to address the growing demand for DHA for the immediate future,” ​he said. “Animal nutrition is an important market for Bunge products, and aquaculture is one of the fastest growing segments.”

In addition to the venture with Corbion, the companies are in a partnership with BioMar regarding the use of AlgaPrime, he said. The fish feed producer is incorporating the DHA ingredient into feed formulated for customers including Lerøy in Norway and Ventisqueros in Chile.

“Our product, due to its high DHA concentration, sustainability profile (produced with renewable energy) along with our scale, is a very attractive product in the marketplace as an option to supplement fish oils in aquaculture or enhance animal feeds with DHA,”​ he said.

Bunge is planning to continue to “evaluate new opportunities”​ as more ingredients are added to the aquafeed market and sales expand, said Oliveira.

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