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Novel solvent-free technology to extract omega-3 and phospholipids from fish waste to be scaled up commercially

Thursday, April 8, 2021

A pioneering technology to extract oils rich in omega-3 and phospholipids from fish waste developed by Tharos is ready to enter its production stage, representing a great opportunity for the aquaculture and fishing industry.  

Tharos Ltd, among other consulting activities, specializes in the development of technologies for the extraction of oils rich in omega-3. In 2017, Tharos partnered with a Chilean fishing firm to operate a pilot plant using Tharos’ patented technology for the extraction of oils enriched in omega-3 and phospholipids.

“Due to strict confidentiality obligations, we were unable to comment on the extraordinary results that the solvent-free pilot plant achieved using marine by-catch and fish waste. But now we can,” said Dimitri Sclabos, managing director of Tharos Ltd.

Tharos’ pilot operation was carried out using jumbo flying squid waste (also known as giant squid, Dosidicus gigas) and farmed salmon (Salmo salar) from 2017-19, with the following findings: 

  • Oil extraction yield enriched in phospholipids and omega-3 was higher than 10% in giant squid and more than 25% in salmon. 
  • Oil extraction yield 10x higher vs. world average standards.
  • Phospholipids content higher than 15% in giant squid oils, equivalent to an extraction of more than 60% of the potential of phospholipids found in the viscera.
  • Omega-3 content (EPA + DHA) higher than 20% in giant squid and salmon oils. 
  • Comparatively, Tharos’ pilot trials in 2012 to 2014, the phospholipids content in the oil was 30% higher in giant squid waste, explained by the potential of the raw material in each year.

“In summary, the technology achieves extraction yields greater than 10% and omega-3 levels higher than 30% in giant squid oil and allows the extraction of phospholipids to be >60% efficient. With these results, the technical conditions are given to productively scale up our technology anywhere in the world,” concluded Sclabos.


Photo caption: Pilot plant. Photo source: Tharos.


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