The F3 – Future of Fish Feed hosts a series of contests to challenge the industry to replace wild-caught marine ingredients in aquaculture. The current F3 Krill Replacement Challenge looks for a replacement for krill that does not contain fishmeal, fish oil, krill or other wild-caught marine ingredients.
One of the registrants of the current challenge is Finland-based eniferBio which developed a mycoprotein for animal feeds that aims to replace krill meal in aquafeeds. “Our product, Pekilo P65, has high crude protein (65%), and 10% of growth boosting nucleotides. In addition, it has 15% of immunostimulating fungal beta-glucan,” Heikki Keskitalo, business development manager, eniferBio, told Aquafeed.com.
Pekilo protein is produced by fermentation, in a biotechnological conversion that converts liquid industrial sidestreams, such as vinasse and thin stillage, into a high-protein ingredient.
The product was already tested on Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout. “For Atlantic salmon, the protein digestibility coefficient was 85.5% and 88.6% for rainbow trout. The recommended inclusion rate in commercial feed is 10-20%. In these cases, aquafeeds were not fishmeal-free,” Keskitalo said. Tests are ongoing in shrimp.
“When 20% of the crude protein content of diets for Atlantic salmon was replaced by PEKILO® mycoprotein, there was a significant improvement in FCR and a slight improvement in feed intake. Therefore, we think that a larger inclusion rate of Pekilo mycoprotein improves the palatability,” Keskitalo explained.
In terms of price, the company expects Pekilo to be in the range of EUR 1,500-2,000 per tonne. To achieve it, eniferBio recently raised EUR 11 million to scale up production and industrial volumes could be available from 2026 onwards.
“I think that krill is not indispensable and from our participation in the F3 Krill Replacement Challenge, we expect to get knowledge on how our Pekilo protein works as a replacement for krill meal,” Keskitalo concluded.