OBJECTIVES AND EXPECTED ACHIEVEMENTS
OBJECTIVES in short:
1) The development of an efficient process for the production of microbial biomass containing long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as DHA and EPA
2) The production of feeds for aquaculture that are based on untreated or processed microbial biomass.
3) Data on the effect of ""alternative feeds"" on e.g. growth, survival and stress tolerance of the fish larvae
4) Establishment of an economic evaluation of the whole integrated process.
The main objective of the current project is the development of alternative feed resources to fish meal and fish oil employing heterotrophic and mixotrophic microorganisms in order to supply the aquaculture industry with feed of constant and good quality that are free of toxins or genetically modified materials. In addition, feed based on a combination of heterotrophic and autotrophic produced microorganisms will be developed. PUFAfeed aims at the evaluation of Single Cell Oils (SCO), obtained from micro-organisms which include microalgae and diatoms, that are rich in the polyunsaturated fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and / or eicosopentaenoic acid (EPA) as alternative 1 complementary feed ingredients for fish oils. Within the project fundamental aspects of lipid accumulation in algae will be elucidated and the technologies to produce microbial biomass and novel feeds, based on this biomass, will be developed. Furthermore the performance of this feed and the economic feasibility of the integrated process will be established in order to provide a cost-effective alternative or complementary solution for fish oils use in feeds for aquaculture.
The project involves several disciplines which are all aimed at the complete integrated process of biomass production under controlled conditions, processing, packaging and storage and the application of the final product within the aquaculture industry. Results with newly developed feed will be evaluated and compared to conventional fish oil based feeds. The first objective is an efficient process for the production of microbial biomass containing long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as DHA and EPA. In this part the knowledge developed during an ongoing project on microbial DHA production (FAIR CT 97-3146) will be implemented. Furthermore, EPA (or EPA/DHA) producing microorganisms will be employed for the development and optimisation of heterotrophic or mixotrophic EPA production. Physiological tools as well as the naturally present variability between strains will be used to improve the yields of the selected strains. The second objective is the production of feeds for aquaculture that are based on untreated or processed microbial biomass. Based on the results obtained in feeding trials with respect to e.g. growth, survival and stress tolerance of the fish larvae as well as on economic data of the production costs the economic evaluation of the whole integrated process will be established.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
HU6 7RX Hull