Finding a replacement for fishmeal in aquaculture feed

Aquaculture, also sometimes known as aquafarming, is the growth and harvesting of fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatic plants in controlled lakes, ponds or salt water structures, as an alternative to catching or harvesting seafood in the wild. Common species found in aquaculture farms include trout, salmon, tilapia, cobia, sea bass, catfish, eels, shrimp, mussels, and oysters, to name a few. This is a terrific way to manage the sustainability of commercially important fish and seafood.

Roughly fifty to seventy percent of the expense associated with aquaculture comes from the fishmeal fed to the aquaculture residents. Fishmeal usually comes in the form of dry pellets that are nutritionally designed with 40 different nutrients needed by fish, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and some fats. The primary ingredients of fishmeal come from harvesting small, open-ocean (pelagic) fish such as anchovies, herring, menhaden, sardines, and mackerel.

Unfortunately, many pelagic fish have been over-harvested, causing environmental watch-dog agencies to impose catch limits to keep these resources sustainable, as well. In turn, the aquaculture industry is looking for alternatives that can provide the nutrition their fish need without endangering other species. The feed and food industry is stepping up to meet the demand.

The vitamins, minerals, and amino acids needed for fishmeal can be found in the proteins of certain plants. These proteins can be extracted using a dry separation method, then creating a flour that can be fortified as needed, and shaped into high-quality, palatable, plant-based fishmeal.

ST Equipment & Technology is leading the charge in this environmentally friendly food alternative with our proprietary triboelectrostatic dry separation process. The key to creating high-yield protein powders from plants is to maximize the protein yield without compromising its purity. By being able to separate plant powders down to very fine levels without damaging the functionality of the protein molecules, our process can maximize crop yields, contribute to the sustainability of pelagic fish species, and support the aquaculture industry.

As the world population continues to rise and the global demand for alternative food sources accelerates with it, ST Equipment & Technology will be there, providing the technology needed to make great things happen.