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US - Investing expert sees big opportunities in aquaculture feeds

Philippe de Lapérouse, managing director of HighQuest Partners, sees feed as one of the most promising investment opportunities in aquaculture. De Lapérouse cites as a promising area new feeds utilizing fermented soybeans. Several companies have developed proprietary formulas for processing soybean meal into fermented soy protein that is easily digested by fish. “Feeds have been considered a safe field.”

December 1, 2017

Philippe de Lapérouse sees myriad investment opportunities in aquaculture.

De Lapérouse is managing director of HighQuest Partners, based in St. Louis, Missouri. Formerly an investment banker, he has more than 30 years of experience advising companies and investment strategies in food, biotech and bioenergy.

According to de Lapérouse, to date, the majority of investments in technology ventures have been in developing novel feed ingredients, as the trend is obvious and it is the biggest expense in production. 

“Feeds have been considered a safe field,” he said.

Increasing scarcity of South American fishmeal and fish oil, which are the traditional feed sources for the industry, have led to replacement with soy-based feed ingredients. However, completely replacing fish proteins with plant-based proteins in feed can adversely affect fish health as well as affect their nutritional value, such as Omega-3 levels in salmon. So many companies are trying to identify and commercialize innovative ingredients derived from insects, algae, or single-cell proteins. 

De Lapérouse cites as a promising area new feeds utilizing fermented soybeans. Several companies have developed proprietary formulas for processing soybean meal into fermented soy protein that is easily digested by fish. Prairie AquaTech, based in Brookings, South Dakota, is raising funds to launch commercial production of fermented soybean meal to be used in fish diets, and the Illinois Soybean Association has invested funds from the soybean check-off program to research replacing fish meal in tuna diets with soybean protein concentrates (SPC). Field trials on tuna conducted in Panama showed improved feed conversion over fish meal.

Source: Seafood Source // Original Article 

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