AlgaPrime DHA is fermented using sugar as a feedstock. Graphic: Corbion.

Fish oil alternative placed among world changers

AlgaPrime DHA, an omega-3-rich algae ingredient that can replace fish oil in feed, has been given an “Honourable Mention” in the food category of the Fast Company 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards.

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The awards from US business magazine Fast Company honour businesses, policies, projects and concepts that offer innovative solutions to the biggest issues facing humanity, including food supply.

Aquaculture is one of the world’s fastest growing food producing sectors but supplies of fish oil that give farmed fish omega-3 are not expected to keep up with demand. Products such as AlgaPrime DHA provide an alternative and sustainable omega-3 source.

‘Affordable for farmers’

AlgaPrime DHA is produced at a facility in Brazil through fermentation-based cultivation with non-GM cane sugar as a feedstock. It is owned by Dutch ingredients producer Corbion.

Corbion said in a press release that due to its scale of production, AlgaPrime DHA has become affordable for salmon farmers, helping them meet the growing demand for salmon and increase omega-3 levels in fish without putting more pressure on marine fisheries.

Chris Haacke: "A key aspect of AlgaPrime DHA’s success has come from our collaboration with salmon farmers and BioMar."

Critical mass

“It can take years for the adoption of a novel ingredient to gain critical mass, and a key aspect of AlgaPrime DHA’s success has come from our collaboration with salmon farmers and BioMar, the leading innovator in aquaculture feed,” said Chris Haacke, Corbion’s global aquaculture lead.

“Adopting such a new ingredient took real courage and a great deal of effort to ensure success.  Over the past year, we've seen a tipping point in adoption to meet the growing demand for more sustainable and nutritious seafood at every point in the supply chain.”

In March 2019 Corbion said that more than 350,000 tonnes of feed containing AlgaPrime DHA had been sold by BioMar in Norway over the previous two years.

Heart-Check certification 

Last week Norwegian producer Kvarøy Arctic, which includes AlgaPrime DHA in its salmon feed, announced the official certification of its salmon by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Food Certification Program. 

According to Kvarøy Arctic, one 3.5-ounce serving of the brand’s Atlantic salmon has over 2,000mg of long-chain omega-3s, exceeding the weekly minimum intake recommendation set by the US Dietary Guidelines and American Heart Association.

Additionally, the salmon has a fish-in fish-out (FIFO) ratio well below 1:1, one of the lowest in the aquaculture industry, helping to reduce dependency on marine fisheries.