By Suzi Dominy
Kaolin binds pathogens in fish
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists found Kaolin, a type of clay found globally, significantly improved the survival of channel catfish with columnaris disease in a recent study conducted by fish physiologist Benjamin Beck, located at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center in Stuttgart, Arkansas.
Beck and his ARS colleagues evaluated kaolin as an alternative to antibiotics to treat Columnaris, a disease that affects the gills, skin and fins of many commercially grown finfish species worldwide, and which often leads to death. Few treatments are available to prevent the disease, which is caused by the bacterial pathogen Flavobacterium columnare.
According to Beck, kaolin works by binding to the pathogen, preventing it from attaching to the fish and causing disease. The process potentially can be scaled up for commercial production to reduce the amount of pathogen in the water.
New Nutrition and Feed
director at Nofima to speak
at Aquafeed Horizons 2015
Dr. Mari Moren will address future possibilities and demands in salmon feed production at the 8th Aquafeed Horizons Conference, taking place along-side the FIAAP/VICTAM/GRAPAS tradeshows in Cologne, Germany in June.
Dr. Moren took up her post as Director of Research at the Norwegian food research institute in October. She takes responsibility for the Nutrition and Feed Technology research areas in Nofima’s Aquaculture division.
“Dr. Moren’s team carries out research, development and innovation projects along the complete aquaculture value chain, with a special focus on research into new feed raw materials, feed technology and questions related to nutrition”, Aquafeed Horizon’s organizer, Suzi Dominy said. “Nofima’s expertise dovetails with the theme of this year’s conference, and we are excited by the knowledge and expertise Dr. Moren will be able to contribute to the meeting”.
“Nutrition and feed technology are two fields within aquaculture that undergo continual development, in order to keep pace with new species, raw materials and forms of production. I expect to be able to contribute in my new post to research and development in these fields becoming even more focused on the future,” Dr. Moren said.
Dr. Moren joins a line-up of world-class experts who will discuss the latest aquafeed production knowledge and know-how. These include practical researchers from institutes such as the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Sparos, Portugal, and industry specialists. The impact of processing on feed ingredients and nutrient quality, aquafeed processing considerations when using novel ingredients and new aquafeed processing technology will be among the topics discussed in a full day of presentations with a focus on aquafeed processing.
This popular conference brings together aquaculture feed industry professionals from around the world. The 2014 conference took place April 8, 2014 at the BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand. More than 140 delegates from aquafeed companies and other industry stakeholders enjoyed presentations on aquafeed technology and formulation options.
The 8th in the series of Aquafeed Horizons conferences will take place along-side VICTAM/FIAAP/GRAPAS 2015, the world’s largest feed and grain exhibitions, creating a must attend event for anyone concerned with staying abreast of feed production developments. 2015 is the 50th anniversary of Victam and visitors can expect a number of special events, adding even more value to the experience.
Aquafeed Horizons 2015 will take place at the Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany June 9, 2015. Early registration is strongly advised. Details and registration on the conference website: http://www.feedconferences.com.
The 8th Aquafeed Horizons conference is sponsored by Andritz, Buhler and Wenger Manufacturing.
Producing aquafeed ingredients using plant-based proteins
Two South Dakota State University researchers are a little closer to their goal of marketing high-quality commercial fish feed ingredients made with plant-based proteins. Prairie Aquatech became the first tenant at the Agricultural Technology Center for Rural Enterprises, the 30,000-square-foot, city-owned Brookings Research and Technology Center. One part of the building will be used to convert feedstock, such as soybean meal and distillers’ grains, into feed ingredients. Another part will be used to conduct fish nutrition research, while yet another will house analytical labs and office space.
Professor William Gibbons of the biology and microbiology department and Distinguished professor Michael Brown of the natural resource management department developed the patent-pending microbial process that increases the protein content and digestibility of soybean meal. Brown, a fisheries expert, determines the percentage of soy product that can be used to replace expensive, marine-derived protein yet maintain a nutritionally balanced diet for the fish.
“We will be able to test our processing conditions at a larger scale, and under continuous or semi-continuous operating conditions that will simulate commercial scale production,” Gibbons said.
The feed ingredient production side includes a milling system, two 3,000-gallon processing tanks, a continuous flow centrifuge and a drying system to produce the plant-based protein. Conversion processes often need to be modified as the scale increases, he explained, pointing to mass transfer issues and energy requirements, and even the effects of increased shear or turbulence on the microbes. In addition, the microbes may perform differently when they are cultured for extended times, Gibbons pointed out. “We can’t simulate this on the bench so we need the pilot-scale facility as a transition stage to allow us to then move to commercial-scale production.
Gibbons also hopes to expand his experiments to alternative oilseeds, such as canola, flax, crambe and Ethiopian mustard.
On the fish nutrition side, Brown can expand feeding trials to more fish species and increase the length of the trials. The number of species tested may also expand through independent feeding trials, with discussions underway for testing on high-value marine species such as yellow tail jack, red snapper and cobia. In addition, Brown and Gibbons visited freshwater and marine fish operations in China this summer to explore opportunities for feeding trials there.
In 2015, they anticipate building a small commercial-scale plant.
Suzi Dominy is the founding editor and publisher of aquafeed.com. She brings 25 years of experience in professional feed industry journalism and publishing. Before starting this company, she was co-publisher of the agri-food division of a major UK-based company, and editor of their major international feed magazine for 13 years.