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Cod bones could be beneficial ingredient in salmon feeds

A project led by Nofima is investigating if trimmings from cod may be beneficial to the health of farmed salmon when used as a bioactive compound in feeds. Each year 160,000 tonnes of cod trimmings are thrown away because there is currently no financial incentive for fishermen to keep them. \"The trimmings contain a lot of bones. The nutrients in bones are difficult to digest, meaning they are currently underutilized and often discarded. Bone components seem to affect muscle quality and health, and this may help to develop a more robust fish.”

December 14, 2017


A project led by Nofima is investigating if trimmings from cod may be beneficial to the health of farmed salmon when used as a bioactive compound in feeds. 

Each year 160,000 tonnes of cod trimmings are thrown away because there is no financial incentive for fishermen to keep them.

“The trimmings contain a lot of bones. The nutrients in bones are difficult to digest, meaning they are currently underutilized and often discarded,” stated scientist Sissel Albrektsen.

Fish bones have a high collagen content, which is extracted after demineralization. Albrektsen and her colleagues have developed a process to release the minerals in fish bones and have come a long way with a process to release the proteins.

The goal of this project is to release at least 85% of the collagen-rich protein in cod bones. If they succeed, the value of fish trimmings will increase. Extraction of minerals and proteins from cod bones could generate NOK 400–900 million per year, depending on the products developed.

“Bone components seem to affect muscle quality and health, and this may help to develop a more robust fish,” Albrektsen explains.

Nofima received fundingto carry out the work from the Research Council of Norway’s FORNY2020 program to ensure results from publicly funded research are brought to the market. Fishmeal manufacturer Vedde AS is also a partner in the project.

“Our goal is to increase the value of fishmeal for aquaculture in particular and to develop new ingredients for use in feed and food products,” stated Ola Flesland at Vedde.

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