BMFishFeed: Development of a bacterial meal with a tailored high-lipid content for use as feed additive in aquaculture

Short overview

The aquaculture industry is recognized for its essential contribution to global food security and nutrition, and has been in continuous growth for the past decades. The increased production rate has led to an exhaustion of marine ingredients, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, traditionally supplemented in fish feed. Consequently, these marine supplements are replaced with ingredients of lower nutritional value. To ensure a sustainable supply of aquaculture nutrition with high macronutrient quality, such as essential omega-3 oils, the BMFishFeed project propose a bacterial meal produced from industrial waste.

Figure 1: Schematic overview on how industrial waste can be brought back into circulation through fermentation of multi microbial cultures (MMCs), emphasizing the role of lipidomics in product development. BM= Bacterial meal. Created by Agnethe Hansen Bæverud in Biorender. 

Project description

The BMFishFeed project is based on Norway’s ambition to raise the salmon production by fivefold from 2010 by 2050. With an aquaculture industry which has been in continuously growth for decades, traditional marine ingredients in fish feed are becoming scarce. To meet the production demands, fishmeal and fish oil, rich in long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFAs) are substituted to more abundant and less costly alternatives of terrestrial origin with lower LC n-3 PUFA content. This replacement has caused concerns regarding the nutritional composition of the farmed salmon, as well as the associated higher environmental impact. To provide a sustainable supply of aquaculture nutrition with high macronutrient quality and simultaneously alignment with the transition to a more green, circular economy, the BMFishFeed project propose a bacterial meal with a tailored high-lipid content. Through fermentation of mixed microbial cultures (MMCs) in a highly controlled bioreactor, utilizing industrial waste products as feedstock, this biological process holds the potential for value creation in the form of a bacterial meal with a beneficial nutrient composition applied to serve as highly desirable feed additive in marine aquaculture.

Corresponding to the projects aim of a high-lipid containing product, development of a lipid extraction method from MMCs together with a confident screening approach of the lipidomic profile are crucial. To ensure the macronutrient quality of the produced bacterial meal along with identification of key processing parameters for lipid tailoring, comprehensive product characterization is required. Through state-of-the-art HR-LCMS, Thermo Scientific Vanquish Horizon UPLC coupled to the Orbitrap Id-X, the full lipidome of the bacterial meal is characterized and establishes the baseline for product optimization.  

Project webpage: BMFishFeed


Terje Vasskog (Principal investigator)
Agnethe Hansen Bæverud