Bacterial protein meal may reduce the need for fish meal

BPM shows potential as a raw ingredient in fish feed
October 2, 2006

Bacterial protein meal may reduce the need for fish meal


Bacterial protein meal (BPM) shows great potential as a raw ingredient in fish feed, and it has characteristics that can make us less reliant on fish meal in the production of feed for the aquaculture industry. These are the conclusions drawn from the doctoral research conducted by Turid Synnøve Aas of AKVAFORSK.


Salmon tolerate high levels of BPM

Certain bacteria use methane gas as a carbon and energy source. This characteristic has been used to produce a protein-rich bacterial meal (BioProtein®) grown on natural gas from the North Sea. Turid Synnøve Aas investigated the use of BPM as a protein source in feed for salmon, rainbow trout and halibut.


She compared BPM with fish meal and documented different tolerance levels for BPM in the three fish species. Based on growth rate, feed intake and feed utilisation, BPM appeared to be an excellent protein source in salmon feed when the feed contained up to 36% of this product.


Growth rate and feed utilisation in salmon was greater when the amount of BPM in the feed increased, even though the digestibility of nutrients decreased. Satisfactory results were also achieved in rainbow trout given feed containing up to 27% BPM. For halibut, however, it appeared that the product should only be used at moderate levels (9%).


The availability of fish meal is limited, and it is necessary to find good alternatives to fish meal for use in the production of feed for the aquaculture industry. BPM is rich in protein and can be produced in large quantities if conditions are favourable.


Turid Synnøve Aas is from Haugesund and Sunndalsøra, Norway, and holds a Cand. Scient. degree (comparable to a Master of Science) in nutritional biology from the University of Bergen. The supervisors for Aas’ doctoral research have been Drs. Ståle J. Helland, Torbjørn Åsgård and Bendik Fyhn Terjesen of AKVAFORSK. She defends her doctoral research on 4 October 2006 at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Her dissertation is entitled “Evaluation of a bacterial protein meal in diets for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus)”.


For more information, contact Turid Synnøve: