Bio-conversion of non-food bio-resources to novel feeds for salmonids - a Nordic approach (NORDICFFEED)

NORDICFEED will strengthen the agriculture, forestry and aquaculture sectors in the Nordic region by developing sustainable microbial feed ingredients from locally available food, agriculture, and forestry waste streams by advanced biotechnology. We will enhance the performance, health and robustness of rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon at various life stages and environmental conditions by investigating the nutritional and health-promoting properties of the microbial ingredients in optimized feed formulations. The health-beneficial effect of bioactive components in the microbial ingredients will first be evaluated by in vitro methods employing primary and cell line cultures from salmonids and by in vivo challenging models using brine shrimp as a germ-free aquaculture model system. Nutritional value, growth response and health effects of the most promising microbial ingredients will then be validated in rainbow trout and in Atlantic salmon kept in two environmental conditions (i.e. recirculated freshwater vs. saltwater) and exposed to handling stress and seawater adaptation.

Our multidisciplinary team will apply state-of-the-art tools (gut physiology, histopathology, transcriptomics and proteomics) to assess the impact of the novel feeds on performance and health of the fish in a multi-layered system biological way. The project will investigate economical aspects and regulatory constraints of introducing by-products into the human food chain by the bioconversion of these into microbial ingredients, and document environmental footprint of these ingredients for fish feed.

Finally, the project will develop a multi-disciplinary Nordic platform for efficient biotransformation of food, agriculture and forest waste products into value-added products. Thus, the platform will generate knowledge and technologies that will facilitate long-term responsible research and innovation, education and training of young scientists, and strengthen the bioeconomy of blue and green sectors in the Nordic countries.