Tuesday, July 31, 2012

George Marco, Director, Aquativ

George Marco has 25 years experience in business management and leadership in a global environment, with a double expertise in the food ingredients industry and the B2B business. Based in the United States for the last seven years, he has also lived and/or worked in Australia, Brazil, Japan, Thailand and France. Most of his career so far has been dedicated to the French Diana group, within which he was SPF Australia General Manager and SPF North America CEO, prior his current position of Aquativ Director worldwide.
Today, George Marco applies his expertise to an ever-widening scope of activities supporting DIANA Group in its strategic move to the Aquafeed industry and strives to develop global R&D, know-how and industrial partnerships.

This interview appeared in the September October 2012 edition of International Aquafeed magazine

What are the greatest challenges the aquaculture industry is facing at the moment?

The first challenge is to be able to follow the market demand for fish, which is around seven percent per year and is expected to follow at least this trend in the future. This demand will be boosted even more by the middle-class increase the Asian markets.
To meet this demand the aquaculture industry will have to increase production as well as improve productivity and work on three dimensions: genetics; better production practices including environmental considerations and; better feed performance.
For this last point, the challenge will be to find a way for fish meal/ fish oil reduction and/or removal in the formulations since fish meal/fish oil are and will be limited in terms of production. Besides the production matter, the market has been driving the industry toward more standards (traceability, quality, sustainability) requiring raw material meeting these expectations.

Can you tell us a bit more about your use of Hydrolyzate?

First of all a Hydrolyzate is by definition a digested raw material meaning it will improve naturally the feed digestibility (meaning the FCR). A functional Hydrolyzate will contain bioactive peptides able to improve the overall physiological status of the animal by acting directly on some key physiological mechanism such as stress, guts performance, growth factors and taste perception.
As per my R&D engineer says, “Hydrolysis is the process which yields the maximum of bioactive peptides out of native proteins”. These bioactive peptides will be produced only under the following conditions: selected raw material (not a mixed of different species); fresh raw material (temperature controlled) and; selected enzyme bioprocess controlled (temperature, time & pH).
How does it affect feed performance?
Thank to these bioactive compounds, the functional Hydrolyzate will bring to the feed formulation: a better physiological status of the animal; a higher digestibility and; a better feed consumption (taste perception). Therefore, a better growth and lower mortality along the production cycle. A ‘concentrate of feed performance’ which allows the feed manufacturer either to increase the performance of its existing feed or to keep the same performance while the feed formulation will be poor in fishmeal.

What others areas does Aquativ work in?

Regarding the functional Hydrolyzate, the next move is to select these bioactive peptides and produce purified fractions which could be used in specific diets. As indicated the understanding of the physiological effect of our bioactive peptides assume being able to identify them as well as demonstrate their activity on the animal. For this purpose we have PhD and partnership with universities.

How DIANA Group is part of the ‘blue revolution’ supporting the aquaculture industry?

Anticipating the needs of valuable protein and supported by AQUATIV development, DIANA Group, has invested a lot in the last few years in marine sourcing by establishing new operations worldwide and strategic partnerships.
DIANA Group’s branding, R&D, performance demonstration and international network brings a ‘go to the market’ dimension to partnerships.
DIANA, through AQUATIV and its strategic partnerships, offers a unique diversified marine range of functional Hydrolyzate becoming a key procurement partner for the industry and is therefore part of the ‘blue revolution’.

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