Michel Autin, technical director, BioMar EMEA, said the new feed concept, designed initially for trout, has a FIFO ratio of as low as 0.3, making it very sustainable. Fish In:Fish Out (FIFO) is an internationally ratio that determines the performance of aquaculture in relation to the marine fish that are utilized in feed and farmed fish.
“The formulation relies on high quality plant proteins, on the replacement of 50% of forage fish fishmeal by insect meal and on the use of fishmeal and fish oil from trimmings, by-products of the canning and fish processing industry,” he told FeedNavigator.
“If needed, algae oil could also be used [in the formulation] to keep the FIFO ratio if fish oil from trimmings were in short supply,” added Autin.
The new feed formulation comes with a high energy content in order to reduce the feed conversion ratio (FCR) and, consequently, minimize the nutrients discharge, he said.
Salvea also has a higher EPA+DHA ratio and higher vitamin inclusion than standard feed, while natural pigments from microorganism or micro-algae, and added natural antioxidant sources are also part of the concept, said Autin.
Seafood consumers, certainly in France, are not only interested in what is on their plate, they also want to know where it comes from, how it is made and what is in it, he said.
Indeed, French trout producer, Aquadis Naturellement, is set to be the first customer for BioMar’s new feed concept.
“However, we have also had interest from customers in Switzerland, the UK, Spain and Germany. There is a two-month lead time in terms of supply of insect meal to our factory in France, so the feed will not actually be available until December this year,” said Autin.
Depending on how successful the trout launch is, BioMar may look to supply the Salvea feed concept to farmed salmon and sea bass producers, two species in which it has already been tested and shown to be effective.
Auchan led initiative
A market for insect fed trout is, to some extent, already established in France.
December 2018 saw the Auchan supermarket chain in France start selling its own label insect fed trout in 52 of its stores in the North of France region with the objective of extending the initiative to all its supermarkets in France by the end of 2019.
Auchan said the insect fed trout was aligned with the brand’s overall strategy to promote the development of a sustainable French aquaculture sector. That collaborative project involved many parties along the supply chain from the insect producer – InnovaFeed - to the fish feed manufacturer – Skretting - and to the fish farmer - Truite Service.
Auchan communicated about the insect fed trout through in-store posters and a distinctive logo.