Head of Aquaculture in Bologna for NextGen Proteins Project
Aquascot's aquaculture lead Andrew Davie attended a meeting in Italy to discuss the future for alternative proteins, and presented an overview of a collaborative project to the group.
The future of utilising alternative proteins in salmon feeds was top of the agenda in northern Italy this month as the NextGen Proteins project met at the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Bologna. This was a 36 month project meeting — where all activities across the nine different work packages were reviewed — and Aquascot Head of Aquaculture Andrew Davie attended along with Waitrose Partner & Senior Manager for Aquaculture & Fisheries, Andy Boulton.
At this meeting, Andrew Davie provided an overview to the project on the commercial-scale salmon feeds trial Aquascot ran in Q1 of 2022, in collaboration with MOWI.
The NextGen Proteins project is a 4-year research project — starting in 2020 and ending in 2023 — funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. It brings together 21 partners spread across 10 European countries.
The overarching purpose of the project is to demonstrate the suitability of alternative proteins in food and feed. The protein sources the project is testing are all created through bioconversion of underutilised resources — Microalgae produced from CO2 from hydrothermal power plants, insects produced from plant food waste & single cell protein produced from waste wood biomass. Within the project the possible application of these protein sources in both food for direct consumption or incorporated in animal feeds is being tested.
Aquascot's specific involvement in the project is working with MOWI and Waitrose to assess the potential to incorporate these alternative proteins within salmon feeds, as these alternative proteins have the possibility to widen the basket of available raw materials for feed formulation and by extension enhance the sustainability of production.
However, before it is possible to advocate for such raw materials in salmon feeds, we have to ensure that they do not compromise animal developmental health nor negatively impact the eating quality of the salmon fillets that ultimately are produced — hence, the subject of testing on this project.
Andrew Davie, Head of Aquaculture at Aquascot:
"The NextGen Proteins project meeting was a productive and stimulating event. With Covid restrictions behind us it was good to finally bring the consortium physically together, present results and discuss the future for alternative proteins.
This project enables us to actively contribute to the research and development of salmon feed formulation, working towards enhancing the sustainability of feed raw materials which is a key priority within the Waitrose Agricultural Plan."