Developing a sustainable alternative for a key ingredient in aquaculture feed was the goal that drove the R&D company Innocon, and the support of the Regional Government of Biobío through the Innovation Fund for Competitiveness was crucial to turning that vision into reality. Carlos Sepúlveda, general manager of the company located in Coronel, talks about the initiative that not only redefines the quality of salmon feed, but also seeks to positively impact the environment.

1. What did it mean for Innocon to develop this project?

The development of this project meant for Innocon the great possibility of realizing an idea that we had had for a long time, which was to look for a sustainable alternative for an ingredient commonly used in aquaculture feed. We obtained the final boost that we needed thanks to the Regional Government of Biobío, through the Innovation Fund for Competitiveness, for which we are very grateful.

2. What specifically did the project consist of?

It focused on creating a more sustainable coating fat for aquaculture feeds, designed to prevent the exudation of oils and fats in extruded feeds. The need for sustainability arises because current cover fats are not digestible by fish, which results in their deposition on the seabed, generating an environmental impact on the aquatic ecosystem.

3. What are the solutions you provide for salmon feed?

The sustainable cover fat developed by our Food Area R&D team retains fats and oils at room temperature in a similar way to existing ones but improves digestibility by 30% to 40%. According to estimates, by replacing this product, the deposition of undigested food on the seabed could be reduced by 10,000 tons.

4. How do you plan to commercially scale this initiative, both to the national and international markets?

The product is currently in the patenting process, and simultaneously, an investment plan is being developed to carry out the industrial expansion of the product. Once this phase is completed, the commercial plan will be promoted, with an initial focus on aquaculture feed factories in Chile, to later explore opportunities in other markets.

5. What other initiatives are you working on at Innocon, particularly solutions for the salmon farming industry?

Innocon is dedicated to constant innovation in products and services for salmon farming. The development of an efficient and sustainable oral vaccine to prevent SRS in fish stands out, with the aim of improving the efficiency of the industry and reducing the use of antibiotics. In addition, Innocon’s outstanding laboratory area has positioned the company among the best in the world, demonstrated by achievements such as second place in the world in the determination of free fatty acids, such as Omega-3, in the latest AOCS intercomparison. These achievements fill the Innocon team with pride.