Page 17 - Pork Newspaper - February 2018
P. 17

Proteins for pigs derived from the sea
IN the search for alterna- tive protein sources, it may be a very good idea to look towards the sea for inspiration.
What are the opportuni- ties for ingredients such as blue mussels, starfish and seaweed?
Here’s an overview.
Everybody agrees it is likely that someday there will be a shortage of pro- tein to feed livestock in order to fulfil the expect- ed big increase in the de- mand for meat for human consumption.
In Europe, there is also a general agreement that land for agriculture at the expense of the rainforest in South America is not the way forward to pro- duce soy protein to feed livestock.
A prevailing opinion is also that fish caught with only the purpose of going into feed is not a sustain- able way to produce meat.
These issues create a need to search for new sustainable protein sourc- es, which can lead to local or at least European self- sufficiency.
From early 2018, or- ganic pig and poultry producers will face the challenge of having insuf- ficient amounts of organic protein.
In this context, blue pro- tein such as blue mussels, starfish and seaweed may fit well as future feed- stuffs because they solve important challenges for the industry and society. Production of mussel meal
Blue mussels can be grown on lines where the naturally occurring mus- sel larvae colonise ropes, plastic tubes or nets.
They filter the seawater for algae and can be har- vested year round.
When mussels are har- vested, they need to be processed to allow stor- age.
The production of mus- sel meal in the Dan- ish fjords is potentially
15,000 tonnes of de- shelled dry mussel meal per year.
Placement of mussel farms should be in nu- trient-rich water of good enough quality to meet regulations for mussel farming.
An experiment in a Danish inland fjord using a mussel farm on 18ha showed an annual produc- tion of 61 tonnes of fresh mussels per hectare.
The harvest of these mussels removed 600- 900kg of nitrogen and 30- 40kg of phosphorus from the water per hectare of mussel farm.
When mussels are cul- tivated with the purpose to remove especially ni- trogen and phosphorus from sea water, they are termed mitigation mussels and are expected to play a major role in reducing eutrophication problems. Nutritional content of mussels
Mussel meal is charac- terised by a crude protein content of 58-66 percent in dry matter, a low min- eral concentration, and for pigs and poultry, a bal- anced amino acid profile.
The crude fat content of 12-16 percent in dry mat- ter includes a relatively large amount of polyun- saturated fatty acids and especially the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentae- noic and docosahexae- noic.
Mussels also con- tain carotenoids such as β-caroten, lutein A, ze- axanthin and xanthofyls such as astaxanthin.
The ileal digestibility of crude protein in pigs is 0.83.
The use of starfish for livestock is not new
During the shortage of feedstuffs during and af- ter World War II, star- fish was included in feed for livestock and a few experiments were carried out to document the effect in poultry especially.
In the Danish fjords,
starfish were caught as feedstuff until the mid- 1980s when the prob- lems with transmissible spongiform encepha- lopathies and the follow- ing restrictions of feed- ing fish to ruminants forced the fishing of starfish to cease. Starfish as a feed ingre- dient
Starfish feed on mus- sels, and this became a problem for the mussel industry who found great populations of starfish throughout the mussel farms.
In 2013, the Danish au- thorities approved starfish being caught in certain areas with production of mussels in amounts corre- sponding to 3000 tonnes of dry starfish meal per year.
At that time, starfish could only be fed in aq- uaculture.
As of July 2017, starfish was approved in the EU as a feed ingredient in diets for pigs and poultry.
Starfish meal is cat- egorised in a group along with fish.
This is unfortunate because of restrictions in the TSE legislation, making it difficult for the feed industry to han- dle starfish meal because it cannot be located in connection with manu- facture of feed for rumi- nants, though starfish are invertebrates and thus safe products. Nutritional content of starfish
Starfish are character- ised by a crude protein concentration in the range of 38-70 percent and an ash concentration of 20- 42 percent in dry matter depending on season.
In Denmark, the high- est concentration of crude
protein and lowest con- centration of ash is found in February.
This ash is not sand but a high concentration of calcium.
The concentration of fat is 9-11 percent in dry mat- ter and polyunsaturated fatty acids are found.
The standardised ileal
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Australian Pork Newspaper, February 2018 – Page 17

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