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Leiber supports aquaculture sustainability industry scholarship

Monday, March 23, 2020

At the University of Plymouth, students on the MSc Sustainable Aquaculture course are offered a training program on the sustainable use of resources for aquaculture production, aquatic animal health, reduction of environmental impacts and addressing socio-economic factors. As part of the program, a series of industry guest lectures are delivered by representatives from leading companies and organizations along the value chain in order to give students first-hand insights from a commercial perspective.

This year’s initial lecture was given by Holger Kühlwein, global key account manager aquaculture at Leiber GmbH. Kühlwein presented an overview of the wide brewer’s yeast product range using different fractions of the yeast cell, their quality aspects and applications in aquafeeds and aquatic animal health, and how these products can contribute to overall sustainable aquaculture. The focus, however, was on highly-purified ß-glucans extracted from the yeast cell wall. These are fed prophylactically via functional feeds, and they are capable of increasing the immune competence of animals leading to higher stress and disease resistance. Core markets for these purified ß-glucans are salmon and rainbow trout, seabass and sea bream as well as shrimp production.


From left to right: Kühlwein (Leiber GmbH) and Daniel Merrifield (University of Plymouth) congratulate the two recipients of the scholarships, James McKay and Tim Herring.


Industry scholarship program

As part of the extended collaboration and commitment to sustainable aquaculture, Leiber GmbH is also investing in the Aquaculture Sustainability Industry Scholarship Program by providing funding for two  students. Each of them will be able to apply and further develop acquired knowledge and lab skills by being part of the testing of two selected brewer’s yeast products. Their specific functionalities require scientific evaluation across various species and their life stages, as well as a constant (re)adjustment according to scientific developments and changing requirements in the aquafeed industry as a whole.

“This, in combination with the predicted high annual growth rates of the aquaculture industry and the consequential increasing need for a highly-skilled workforce, is the incentive for us to contribute to the education in and the development of the aquaculture industry,” said Kühlwein. “This MSc program, backed by the extensive scientific experience of the program leaders and the research group in the field of functional feed ingredients for aquaculture, offers great opportunities in that direction.”

Daniel Merrifield, associate professor of Fish Health and Nutrition and Program Lead on the MSc Sustainable Aquaculture course, added that “one of the key strengths of our program is the diversity and depth of industry engagement through the curriculum. Leading figures from across various sectors of the industry contribute to the program by providing guest lectures, resources, hosting placements, supporting projects and providing scholarships. Over several years, our students have benefited from our long-standing relationship with Leiber GmbH which provides a fascinating insight into current innovations and industry requirements.”

Sustainability has been Lieber’s business model for more than six decades. By-products from breweries, brewers' yeast and spent grains are refined into high-quality products for animal nutrition, food industry and biotechnology. Just through its business model alone, Leiber is already making its contribution to sustainability. In addition, economical use of electrical energy and heat energy, for example, form an integral part of the corporate strategy. With its own biogas plant and two turbines, Leiber generates around 35% of electricity and around 10% of its thermal energy needs itself.


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