Aquaculture is the fastest growing production of animal protein in the world and is considered as one of the most resource-efficient ways to produce protein. The production requires less feed, water, land and has a significantly lower carbon footprint than land-based livestock production. Aquacultural sector also has a high potential for sustainable growth and creating new jobs especially in rural areas. However, one of the challenges for the growth, is the need for nutritious and sustainable aquaculture feed resources. BlueGreenFeed will focus on producing new feed ingredients, that can to some extent replace soy proteins. The project aims to increase and optimise resource utilization in bio-based industries and ensure a sustainable blue economy growth.
BlueGreenFeed will explore ways to pre-treat and process feathers and grass pulp to increase their digestibility and bioavailability for use in feed for low trophic animals such as insects (house crickets and meal worms) and aquatic invertebrates (gammarid shrimps and polychaete worms). The ability of these organisms to grow and bio-convert the nutritionally poor materials into nutritious biomass will be tested. The nutritional value of these organisms and their suitability as aquafeeds in fish feeding trials will be evaluated. Economical feasibility and sustainability for bio-upgrading low value side streams into high value proteins and lipids for feed industries will be evaluated.
The international and inter-disciplinary BlueGreenFeed team consisting of research experts from SINTEF (Norway), Taltech (Estonia), Aarhus University (Denmark), University of Iceland and MATIS (Iceland), will work in close cooperation with active industrial partners, representing each sector in the value chain ranging from grass processing (Vestjyllands Andel, Denmark), via the feather generating industry (Norsk kylling, Norway), to insect producer (Bugimine, Estonia and Montasjen, Norway) and a fish feed company (Laxa, Iceland).