Tuesday, March 6, 2018

07/03/2018: Two becomes one: From agriculture to aquaculture through education and dedicated science

An interview with Dr Philip Lyons, PhD Research Scientist and Ben Lamberigts Manager of Quality, Research and Nutrition from Coppens International BV

What areas of research are Alltech and Coppens International currently working on?

“The research here has all been extremely practical but Alltech is always pushing the boundaries when it comes to molecular technologies and nutrigenomics; with nutritional programming being one of the big areas that we'll start to look at more and more. We are making low fishmeal and low fish oil or zero fishmeal, fish-oil diets for the grow-out phase of production but we need to start thinking about how we're going to do that in the earlier phases,” Dr Lyons explains.

He continues, “We had a research meeting recently with a lot of the scientists from Alltech and we discussed ways in which we can implement that kind of research into the more practical work that we're doing here. With regards to creating a new feed additive, the aim would be to optimise the health of a fish so that the farmer could say, “I've got a product here that uses Alltech technology and Coppens feed and we can reduce sea lice,” for instance. As consumers are becoming more aware of the welfare of fish, this is becoming more and more important as well.

“One of our major strengths is that we now have experience, from working with Coppens, with Carp, Coy Carp, Eel, African Catfish, Pangasius and Tilapia. With this broad area of expertise and ability to diversify, we can hit markets other than the Salmonid market. For example, we have a research alliance with Ocean University in China, looking at Tilapia now,” he summarises.

Have you had a generally positive customer response since the acquisition?
“The industry is booming, we are booming and we see our customers booming. We have a lot of resources coming from Alltech, not only financially but also through human resources and know-how, which we hope will help us in the future,” Mr Lamberigts says proudly.

“We started a campaign on the new products that we introduced into our feed and because we are with Alltech now, performance (FCR, health, lower mortality) increases and the price of the fish feed stays the same so it is advantageous for the customer,” he continues.

Discussing fish safety, he points out, “We always have to think that we are producing a product for human consumption and the quality of the fish is also the safety of the fish. This is one of the big advantages of FORPlus, because whereas fish oil contains a lot of dioxins and heavy metal from the sea, the algae are cultivated so they don't have any dioxins.”

The team around you is very important to the company’s response he explains, “When we are recruiting new people in my department, we are looking for nutritionists and of course we have a very successful commercial and technical team who are more on the fish and aquaculture side, but what my team is doing here also on the nutrition side and in Germany, is we are focusing on nutrition so raw materials and nutritional profiling and requirements. These are the basics you have to understand.”

Read the full article, HERE.

The Aquaculturists
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