VIDEO: “Potential of novel and circular based economy raw materials in salmon diets”

FutureEUaqua at ON THE HORIZON webinar

At the first webinar co-organised by European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATIP) and FEAP, Katerina Kousoulaki from Nofima, representing FutureEUaqua at the event, discussed the potential of novel and circular based economy raw materials as main ingredients in salmon diets

Kousoulaki also emphasized that as the global population has been growing, more protein is needed. Aquaculture is a solution, but the sector needs new sources of high-quality feed ingredients to grow in a sustainable way. 

She explained that insects, polychaete worms, tunicates are under the scope of her research, and demonstrated very promising results. You can access download the presentation slides here, and watch the recording above or here

EU sister projects join forces on social media during Aquaculture Europe 2021

This week, FutureEUAqua and our 3 sister projects, NewTechaqua, AquaImpact and iFISHienci, are all represented at the Aquaculture Europe 2021 conference in Madeira.

In addition, we have joined forces on social media, and will launch a Twitter Campaign on aquaculture innovations during the conference. The aim is also to better communicate and disseminate our combined results so that they can directly serve the interest of the aquaculture stakeholders.

If you want to be amongst the first ones who will be informed, follow the projects on Twitter, follow the hashtags #AE21MAD, #Aquaculture4EU and have a look at our websites.

Twitter profiles:

Register for the inaugrual ‘On The Horizon’ webinar

On Wednesday 29th September, FutureEUAqua is co-organising a webinar together with EATiP and Horizon 2020 sister projects AquaImpact, iFishIENCi, NewTechAqua and Aqua Excel 3.0.

The webinar is the first in a series aiming to disseminate specific aquaculture project outputs from the EU Horizon Framework programmes and demonstrating support for key objectives including the Strategic Guidelines for competitive and sustainable aquaculture in the EU, the Blue Economy, the European Green Deal and Farm 2 Fork Strategies.

The forum is organised with the support of the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers.

 

Do you want to attend? Please register here.

 

Wednesday 29 September:

Agenda (10:00 – 12:00)

Welcome by the EATIP General Secretary, Mr. David Bassett

Introduction by the FEAP President, Mrs. Lara Barazi.

Virtual Aquaculture Laboratory for optimizing experiments with fish and water treatment setups.
Finn Olav Bjørnson
 | SINTEF Ocean

 

Dietary effects on growth, survival and behavioural responses in lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus L.) larvae.
Ibon García Gallego
 | ULPGC

 

Q&A and interactive Mentimeter

 

Potential of novel and circular based economy raw materials as main ingredients in salmon diets.
Katerina Kousoulaki | NOFIMA

 

Improving resource efficiency and disease resistance of farmed fish by selective breeding.
Antti Kause
 | Luke – Natural Resources Institute Finland

 

Genetic breeding approach to increase efficiency, reduction, and sustainability.
Julianna Kobolak
 | Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (MATE)

 

Industry data for improved management.
Björgólfur Hávarðsson | The Seafood Innovation Cluster Norway

 

Q&A and interactive Mentimeter

 

Webinar conclusions

Online communication and dissemination at Aquaculture Europe 2020

European Aquaculture Society (EAS) has annually organized a congress in which industry, scientists and policy makers meet face-to-face. In 2020, the congress was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and organized in April 2021 as an on-line meeting with pre-recorded videos.

AquaIMPACTFutureEUAquaNewTechAqua and iFishIENCi projects are funded from the Horizon 2020 Innovation Action call Sustainable European Aquaculture 4.0: Nutrition and Breeding Innovations. These projects complement each other to develop more sustainable aquaculture in EU. The four projects are also communicating and disseminating the project outcomes together.

The four projects were present in the Aquaculture Europe online congress. This provided a unique opportunity to document the progress and the results of these projects. The following AquaIMPACT Newsletter 1/2021 summarizes the contributions of the four projects.

Click this link or the image below to read the newsletter:

Get to know: Kefalonia Fisheries S.A.

We asked Ms. Evi Abatzidou to tell her story about Kefalonia Fisheries. Here is what she has to say.

Please briefly introduce your company and what you do at the company

Kefalonia Fisheries S.A., established in 1981, is a global leader in the farming and distributing Mediterranean Aquaculture products of high quality with high environmental responsibility. During the 3.5 decades of operation, KF has always been a pioneer in the development of aquaculture production and marketing strategies that makes the company one of the most competitive and profitable in the sector. Some milestones of the company are: (1) First aquaculture company that produced sea bass and sea bream in Greece, (2) First company with vertical production of sea bass and sea bream, with complete traceability in all production stages, from egg to final product (fish), (3) First aquaculture company certified for organic production of sea bass and sea bream in Greece, (4) Award-winning company with the Superior Taste Award Certification of (international Taste & Quality institute) for sea bass.

At the moment, Kefalonia Fisheries employs more than 200 people, produces and sells over 5 million of fry and over than 5.000 tons of sea bass and sea bream. The annual sales of the company exceed 30 million Euros. More than 80% of the production is exported, mostly in Italy, France, U.A.E., U.S.A and others (more than 15 more countries).

The company owns a number of certifications related to the ensuring the quality, safety and sustainability of the production. Such certifications are: ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000, Fish from Greece, Global G.A.P., Friends of the sea for sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture, ASC, Naturland e.V. and the EU organic standard for organic aquaculture.

I work in Kefalonia Fisheries since 1986 and I am responsible for fry production and the R&D department. I oversee all aspects of the hatchery, including the management of personnel, fish and equipment. I track the fish cycles to determine harvest and release time. I am also responsible for our breeding program and fry quality. Since 2015, I supervise all research programs of our company.

Why do you find it important to participate in H2020 projects? What are the benefits for you ?

With particular interest in the continuous improvement of production techniques, the efficient population management in farms, the advancement of the nutritional profile of the final product, the development of sustainable practices and the welfare of fish, Kefalonia Fisheries has participated in several national and European research projects, regarding the development of new sea bass and sea bream products, biotechnology for the growth and the exploitation of micro- and macro- algae, the use of new technologies for the quality control and the sustainable management of aquaculture and the quality control of the final product.

Our participation in Future EUaqua project was focused mainly on large scale feeding trials using innovative, sustainable, conventional and organic feeds. This is just one task of the project among many others, like: sustainable breeding, innovative optimal production systems, monitoring technologies of the environmental impact on fish health and welfare, consumer awareness, etc.

We find that H2020 platform provides us with the perfect innovative tools, helping us to fulfill all our goals.

What are your main challenges and how the project can contribute to overcome these?

Our company’s main interests and research pillars are always sustainability, circular economy, innovation, quality and fish welfare. Horizon 2020 couples innovation and research, giving emphasis on excellent science and industrial leadership, thus creating the perfect platform for promoting our interests. Combining the industrial work and public research in multidisciplinary consortia of RTD Centers, large companies, SMEs and Associations, H2020 programs deliver innovation by tackling a large spectrum of societal challenges.

Participating in Horizon 2020 program, provides us with the cutting edge knowledge and innovative technology, which is essential in keeping us competitive at a global level.

New ingredients fit for feed?

In the search for new, sustainable fish feed ingredients, researchers are working to see if the ingredients can be used in feed technically.

Tor Andreas Samuelsen and colleagues at Nofima in Bergen have a number of advanced techniques in store. Samuelsen says it is underestimated how important it is that new ingredients being introduced to fish feed actually have the correct technical quality. Some ingredients require too much water, others require too high a temperature, while others disrupt the structural properties of the pellet – a bit like when you end up with a failed dough in your kitchen at home.

“If you cannot produce feed with high physical quality, it will crush into pieces before it reaches the fish, and the fish will not be able to eat it”, says Samuelsen.

He has a bag of tunicate meal in front of him on the table. Tunicate meal consists of dried and ground tunicates; a kind of sea squirt which feeds on microalgae in the sea. As part of the EU projects AQUABIOPRO-FIT (funded by BBI JU Horizon 2020) and FutureEUAqua (Horizon 2020) as well as the Swedish VINNOVA-funded project Marine Feed, the researchers have found that tunicate meal meets the nutritional requirements for ingredients that can replace some of the fish and soybean meal commonly used in feed. Tunicate meal is rich in the essential amino acids that fish need to build protein, but there’s still a work to be done to reduce its salt content. Samuelsen has tested the technical quality of tunicate meal and how much can be used in the feed.

Feed analysis with a CT scanner

Trial feeds were produced at the feed technology centre in Bergen. First, feed mixtures with different levels of tunicate meal were fed into an extruder, where the mixtures were cooked, kneaded, expanded and dried into pellets with a porous structure. The pores were then filled with rapeseed oil and then subjected to an oil leakage test.

Samuelsen used a CT scanner to examine the microstructure inside the pellet. A CT scanner is an advanced X-ray device which makes it possible to see the 3D structure without slicing the pellet.

“By studying the pellet’s inner structure, we gain a detailed understanding for example on how various ingredients affect the pore structure”, says Samuelsen.

The CT scan showed a large range in pore structure for pellets containing different amounts of tunicate meal. Photo: Gunhild Haustveit © Nofima.

The scan showed that feed pellets with a large percentage of tunicate meal had large pores. The pellet with the largest pores adsorbed the highest amount of oil, but also resulted in highest oil leakage.

Determining the maximum amount of tunicate meal

By running a mixture design experiment in the statistics program, he has set some quality requirements for the pellet when he adds tunicate meal to the feed:

“I want as much tunicate meal as possible in the feed mixture, but the pellet still needs to be of high physical quality and as porous as possible to make it adsorb the necessary quantities of oil. It also needs to have a high water stability.”

He found that 50% of the fish meal could be replaced by tunicate meal without compromising the physical quality of the feed.

Advanced tools

New ingredients that may be interesting to use in fish feed are constantly emerging. The work on tunicate meal is a nice example of how important it is to have advanced tools for studying ingredients and feed, says Samuelsen.

“We need to understand why ingredients differ from each other to be able to model the production process and physical properties of the feed before we start.”

Such new tools are now available through the Aquafeed Technology Centre (ATC) which is hosted by Nofima. This is part of the Norwegian roadmap for research infrastructure which is carried out in cooperation with Norce and the University of Bergen. ATC provides the industry with access to state-of-the-art laboratories and pilot-scale facilities to be able to meet the future needs of research, process and product development.

“ATC gives Nofima a unique opportunity to help the industry develop and characterize new, sustainable ingredients”, says Samuelsen.

This article was first published on nofima.no 27 October 2020. 

FutureEUAqua and sustainable innovative tailor-made fish diets

Written by: Elena Mente, Katerina Kousoulaki, Ioannis Nengas

This article was first published on 11 April 2021 in the Feed & Additive Magazine

The ongoing positive growth trend of the aquaculture industry continues, reflecting the rising demand for healthy human food products. Availability of sustainable ingredients in fish feeds is crucial to maintain the increasing demand of the aquaculture industry and the consumers. In FutureEUAqua, resilient fish, efficient in utilizing sustainable innovative tailor-made diets are developed.

European aquaculture production has reached 1.3 million tonnes in volume with a value of over 4 billion euro (EU-28 member states). Of this amount, 4% is certified as organic, amounting in 2015 to a total of approximately 50,000 tonnes (Lembo and Mente, 2019). Nevertheless, significant bottlenecks present in organic farming need to be overcome in order to maintain this positive trend. In 2015, EU consumers spent 54 billion euro for buying fisheries and aquaculture products, reaching the highest amount ever recorded (EUMOFA, 2017).

However, Europe is still heavily dependent on external markets to cover this demand. Thus, EU aquaculture needs to increase the competitiveness of its products and respond to consumer demands for high-quality and safe food, in a challenging context of climate change, greater competition for natural resources, and conflicting interests for space and markets. To ensure food and nutrition security by 2030, the food production sectors have to sustainably expand in terms of space use, production and new value chains, exploring and enhancing innovation opportunities offered by sustainable and resilient aquaculture production systems, implementing the circular economy principles and increasing social acceptance of the corresponding activities and products.

Read the full article for free in the Feed & Additive magazine

Statement in support of the Commission’s plans to boost organic aquaculture

Today, the European Commission published the much-anticipated Organic Action Plan. The FutureEUAqua project supports the Commission’s intentions to reinforce organic aquaculture in Europe.

In “Action 17”, the Commission lists important paths for reinforcing organic aquaculture from 2022. They are:

Starting in 2022, the Commission intends to:

  • support research and innovation on alternative sources of nutrients, breeding and animal welfare in aquaculture; the promotion of investments on adapted polyculture and multi-trophic aquaculture systems; and the promotion of hatcheries and nurseries activities for organic juveniles; and
  • identify and address as appropriate any specific obstacles to the growth of EU organic aquaculture. (European Commission, 2021: 18)

FutureEUAqua’s project coordinator, Åsa Espmark, says that she welcomes and supports the initiative on behalf of the project consortium.

«Based on our previous work in the OrAqua project, and present work in FutureEUAqua, the Commission’s points are in line with what we regard as important bottlenecks for the further development of organic aquaculture in Europe,» Espmark says.

Links to the Organic Action Plan:

Get to know: Galaxidi Marine Farm

In the following partner interview, we asked Galaxidi Marine Farm to tell their story. Here is what they had to say. 

  1. Please introduce your company

Galaxidi Marine Farm (GMF), established in 1987 near the town of Galaxidi in Central Greece, stands amongst the oldest and most successful aquaculture companies in Greece. It is a vertically integrated company, operating two hatcheries (one of which dedicated to the production of organic seabass and seabream juveniles), six unit farms (one of which dedicated to organic production) and one state of the art packaging & processing station. The main species produced are Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata), European Seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and Meagre (Argyrosomus regius) while continuous efforts to fully integrate new, promising species such as the Greater Amberjack (Seriola dumerili) are being made through the company’s participation in pioneering National and European funded programmes. Ninety-eight per cent (98%) of the company’s production is exported, to countries including Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Austria and more. In order to live up to the high-quality standards of its customers, the company holds a number of certifications regarding product quality, food safety, organic production etc (listed below).

EN ISO 9001:15 – EN ISO 22000:05 – BIO E.U. – BIO HELLAS E.U. – BIO NATURLAND:20 – GLOBALG.A.P.:19 – IFS FOOD:17 – ASC SSM:19 – MSC CoC:19 (ASC CoC) – FISH FROM GREECE:19

The company participates in a number of National and European funded programmes, and we, the people of the R&D department, are tasked with day-to-day management of those programmes, from financial reporting to coordinating and performing samplings. Our team consists of highly educated and continuously trained ichthyologists and biologists, ensuring the scientific integrity of the procedures. In addition to the State and European funded programmes, the R&D department is responsible for managing an in-house breeding program in collaboration with the Animal Breeding & Genomics Centre of the Institute Wageningen UR Livestock Research.

 

  1. Importance of participating in Horizon 2020 projects?

The company from its early days displayed an orientation towards innovation, being pioneer in adopting new technologies such as AKVA automatic feeding system, Marel and Thema systems for fish weighing, grading and batching, Aqua manager software etc. Since the DIVERSIFY project (2013-2018), the company is actively pursuing its involvement in Horizon 2020 programmes as it acknowledges that investing in scientific research is pivotal for the development and adaptation of the industry.

Being a member of consortia such as those assembled at H2020 programmes, consisting of scientists renowned in their respective fields, and companies leading at a worldwide level, provides the company with the competitive edge as it is the end user to most of the outputs and innovations produced, be it novel aquafeeds, reproduction management techniques, monitoring systems and many more.

 

  1. What are your main challenges and how can the project contribute to overcome these?

There are many challenges that the European aquaculture industry is facing and most of them apply to our company as well. Some of them are staying competitive at a global level, adapting as early as possible to the need for sustainably produced aquafeeds at the face of fragile aquatic ecosystems, responding to climate change, diversifying the production with integration of new species and products, staying up to date with the constant technological advances benefitting production, coping with availability of production space and more. FutureEuAqua addresses each of the aforementioned challenges, in dedicated Tasks and Subtasks of certain Work Packages.

Galaxidi Marine Farm (GMF) can benefit from consulting deliverables from all the WPs, but is even more involved and aware about the subjects of the WPs that is actively participating in. These are the development of novel, sustainable organic aquafeeds (WP2), that will suit its needs and perform equally or even better with even less environmental impact, and the development of innovative processing and packaging solutions (WP6), in order to increase the quality and shelf life of the final product.

Rapid evaluation of fish texture via system identification and modelling techniques

The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research and the University of West Attica have focused on developing methodologies and tools for the non-destructive assessment of quality of fish products.

Specifically, this task involves:

  • Building a prototype device for testing commercially available fish using a specific test protocol and logging relevant test data.
  • Developing novel algorithms for assessing test data in order to evaluate texture (and hence freshness) of tested fish.
  • Performing lab as well as large-scale testing in industrial environment to validate the device operation and results and undertake device/ algorithmic modifications if needed.
  • Undertaking process for IP protection of the device

Up to this point, a novel algorithmic operational framework for fish texture evaluation has been recently proposed and published*. This framework postulates a purposely-designed testing protocol applicable to fish products, which combines a vibration-like non-destructive loading of fish under assessment with detailed guidelines for analyzing the fish response data collected from testing.

The outcome allows for quantifying specific parameters related to springiness and viscoelasticity of fish flesh, which, in turn, translates into freshness assessment of tested fish. Published results show that definitive textural changes may be quantified between two fish batches stored in ice for different time intervals (1 and 5 days, respectively). Besides, further testing showed distinction between fish bought on the same day and stored for few hours in different temperatures. This is a promising indication that the same tool may be used for distinguishing among fish batches those exposed to abusive temperature conditions.

*D. Dimogianopoulos and K. Grigorakis, Effective algorithmic operational framework for fish texture evaluation in industry: Achieving maturity, Aquaculture and Fisheries, October 16, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aaf.2020.10.001

Figure: Detail of the prototype device during testing