Chilean scientists will develop sustainable grease for salmon feed

Chile: The FIC project of the private technology center Innocon seeks to reduce the impact generated on the seabed of fish farming centers with a sustainable national product.

Innocon is a private Technology Center accredited by Corfo to conduct research. It comprises more than 50 professionals from different areas, such as biochemists, food engineers, biotechnologists, engineers of other specialties, and others, dedicated to carrying out studies and developing projects. The Technology Center provides services for other companies that need to optimize products or develop new products. 
"For this, we have specialized laboratories. Our laboratory is rated as one of the best laboratories worldwide for determining Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acid profiles. For this reason, our fatty acid analyses are recognized in the food industry," Carlos Sepúlveda, Innocon's general manager, told Salmonexpert. 
The professional emphasizes that they have a pilot plant in parallel, where many foods and products are tested. "When approaching a customer's requirement, our research team carries out a literature review and tests in the laboratory, developing experiments. Once the laboratory recipe is ready, our piloting area is responsible for verifying that the product works. Once this process ends, we present the customer's requirements, the commercial samples, and then the recipe, so that it can be produced on a larger scale", emphasizes Sepúlveda. 
According to Innocon's general manager, for years, they have developed projects for the aquaculture industry, especially for salmon farming. "Over time, we identified a need, mainly in salmon feed. Today, feeding pellets, apart from the internal nutritional components they contain, have a fat coating that prevents them from disintegrating in the water and does not exude but is not digestible by the fish. Therefore, this fat is deposited on the seabed". 
According to the professional, from a nutritional point of view, it is not optimal for a product that contains food not to be used and contaminate the seabed, where it is also of no use. 
" In Chile, around 25,000 tons of this type of cover are currently consumed, which go to the seabed in their entirety. That is why, due to our research and development, we can generate a coating that fulfills the same function as it does today, but which is nutritionally used by the fish", says Sepúlveda. 
FIC Project 
Based on this solution, the "Sustainable fat for aquaculture feed" project was born, an initiative financed by the Biobío Regional Government through the Innovation Fund for Competitiveness (FIC-R) and executed by the Innocon Technological Center. 
"For us, this project is very important because, firstly, we are reducing the environmental impact of salmon farming centers on the seabed, and secondly, we are developing a new product that can generate new lines of production, and we are giving added value to raw materials that already exist", emphasizes Sepúlveda. 
According to Innocon's CEO, many technologies must be applied for this project because we must achieve a series of temperature balances, viscosities, digestion by the fish, and conduct several tests. "We will develop the interesterification of fats. With different raw materials, we carry out this process, from which we obtain the required parameters, how it should be done, and which raw materials are the best. Finally, we achieve a fat that remains dense and stable at water temperature, but at the temperature of the fish's digestive system that can absorb it." 
The project began in January of this year and will last 24 months. At the head of this initiative is the Biochemist Pablo Lagos as project director and Roberto Valenzuela, Ph.D. in science and analytical technology, as project coordinator. 
At Innocon's facilities last Friday, in the presence of regional authorities and professionals from the Technology Center, the launching of this initiative, which has funding provided by the Gore Biobío of approximately $136 million, took place. 

Fuente: https://www.salmonexpert.cl/article/investigacion-desarrollara-grasa-sustentable-para-alimento-de-salmones/