Global fish production is rising, while aquaculture has several sustainability challenges where one of them is an urgent demand for high-quality feed ingredients of sustainable and environmentally friendly origin. In particular, demand for fish oil and fish meal in aquaculture has increased dramatically in the last two decades. It has been shown that unicellular microorganisms as oleaginous fungi, if sustainably produced, could potentially replace fish oils and fish meal in aquaculture providing equally good fish growth and health parameters. Among unicellular oleaginous fungi, the most promising ones are yeasts and thraustochytrids, biomass of which enriched with omega-6 and omega-3 oils, proteins, pigments and glucans which are key components for providing optimal growth and health for fish.
SAFE project aims at utilizing the potential of oleaginous yeast and thraustochytrids and developing high-value oil enriched biomass containing carotenoids, astaxanthin and beta-glucans for salmon feed from wood-based materials. SAFE will develop a process for producing microbial biomass with a high level of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and omega-6 monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids by oleaginous thraustochytrids and yeast from the second- generation sugars derived from Nordic woody feedstock. This will allow, for the first time, to establish, a new value chain from "Nordic wood resourced – to –Microbial Feed Biomass" in Nordic countries which are developing wood-based Bioeconomy. This will increase financial and environmental sustainability of Nordic and international aquaculture and wood industry. SAFE will deliver a complete set of new knowledge about the effect of oleaginous microbial on growth performance and health of fish.