The goal of the initiative, which is funded to the tune of NOK 8,6m (US$993K), and which gets underway in February next year, is to develop a quantifiable DNA-analysis method to enable precise determination of the species composition in feed-related samples.
“The analysis can be used for practically all ingredients containing DNA, i.e. most sources used for the protein fraction of the feed,” a spokesperson for ORIVO told us.
The DNA-based analysis methods currently available in the market are either unreliable in terms of quantifiability or unable to detect unknown species present in a sample, said the Norwegian company.
“With this project we aim to expand our existing analysis platform with a method that solves both these issues. Our goal is to offer players in all parts of the feed value chain a tool to precisely determine the species composition of their samples.”
It is envisaged that such a tool would be used by companies to ensure the products they are buying have the right specifications, or it could be used to document sustainable sourcing to clients in value chains where transparency is becoming more and more important, said the company.
A multidisciplinary approach
To help develop the analysis method, ORIVO will collaborate with a raft of academic and commercial organizations that bring different areas of expertise to the project including the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and independent research organization, SINTEF.
“Complex challenges such as the ones we will be faced with in this project require a multidisciplinary approach,” said project manager and chief technology officer (CTO) at ORVIO, Erik Fuglseth.
One of the key stakeholders in the project is the Danish aquaculture feed producer, BioMar. It has been collaborating with the Norwegian company for many years already and Morten Holdorff Møjbæk, global sourcing director at that feed group, believes the ability to document responsible sourcing through lab testing will be key in the near future.
"At BioMar we strive for full transparency and traceability throughout our supply chain. Sourcing raw materials like marine ingredients where there is overfishing of 33% of fish stocks comes with a huge responsibility and that is why knowing the identity of the fish species is critical to us. Having this verified through ORIVO’s testing platform adds a very important extra level of insurance for us. We are therefore glad to support the further development of this platform to expand its application areas and make it even more useful to us and our clients."