Malaysia-based company, Palmatech Product, has registered to the F3 Krill Replacement Challenge with a palm oil concentrate, Perfat Ruby 2500, from RSPO-certified companies.
Through a patented process called First Cut Technology, crude palm oil is fractionated into highly concentrated stearin and olein components. Through a repeated processing cycle, it undergoes multiple iterations of the refinement process, enhancing the potency of its beneficial compounds. This approach results in a product that is more concentrated amplifying the concentration of phytonutrients, including carotenoids and vitamin E.
The company has conducted trials with cultured species in Malaysia, such as red snapper and tiger shrimp. “These trials yielded positive outcomes in terms of enhancing coloration and meat quality. The application of Perfat Ruby 2500 had no adverse impact on fish growth or body composition. Aquafeeds for these trials were not fish-free diets,” explained Ivan Quah, technical sales executive, Palmatech Product.
“Furthermore, the texture of the fillets remained consistent. Our blind taste assessment indicated that the inclusion of Perfat Ruby 2500 in both shrimp and fish leads to an enhanced taste when compared to conventionally farmed counterparts. The blind tests have substantiated the improved flavor, and laboratory analyses have confirmed elevated levels of tocopherols and tocotrienols in the meat,” Quah explained
The ingredient may be vacuum coated into feed or extruded along with the raw ingredients of the intended feed. “However, the key to retaining the nutrients is to not utilize process equipment that functions at high temperatures where the phytonutrients start to denature,” Quah stated.
Although a direct cost comparison between Perfat Ruby 2500 and krill-based ingredients has not been conducted, Quah reported that farmers have observed improvements in their farming operations resulting in enhanced harvests and higher product quality. “Importantly, Perfat Ruby 2500 is primarily derived from palm oil, a widely produced and cost-efficient vegetable oil globally. The consistent availability of palm oil and its competitive pricing make it a cost-effective alternative to krill-based ingredients.”
“While krill-based aquafeeds provide nutritional benefits, their use raises significant environmental concerns. As we look to the future, it's imperative to seek alternatives for krill to ensure a sustainable and thriving aquaculture sector. The F3 Krill Replacement Challenge provides an opportunity to explore the efficacy of alternative ingredients,” Quah concluded.
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