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DDGS Eyed as Fish Food
Friday, October 24, 2014 10:26AM CDT

By Cheryl Anderson
DTN Staff Reporter

With aquaculture becoming a quickly growing industry in the U.S., a group of organizations have teamed up to present a webinar on the use of dried distillers grains with solubles in fish diets.

Kurt Rosentrater, assistant professor at Iowa State University and executive director of the Distillers Grains Technology Council, has done a great deal of research in using DDGS in aquaculture diets. Rosentrater was asked to join the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Southern Illinois University Carbondale in presenting the webinar.

Previous research has found that DDGS is a proven ingredient for fish feeds, although it cannot be fed alone, but rather is part of a balanced diet. Rosentrater has completed feeding trials using DDGS successfully for species such as catfish, tilapia, rainbow trout, yellow perch, etc.

"DDGS can be part of a balanced aquaculture diet, and feeding trials have been looking at finding that balance," Rosentrater said. "Typically, 10% to 20% DDGS works really well in aquaculture feeds for a variety of species."

Replacing costly fish meal with DDGS is attractive for the aquaculture industry, first because of the huge difference in cost. Fish meal is a popular ingredient in aquaculture diets, and is also used to a lesser degree in rations for livestock. While fishmeal can run between $1,600 and $2,000 per ton, DDGS is currently selling for about $97 per ton.

Another reason for the drive to replace fishmeal is the trend to find sustainable food sources.

Rosentrater explained, "Fish capture globally has plateaued in the last decade. The fishing industry is just not able to catch as much, even though demand is increasing."

The cost of fishmeal and declining fish capture are behind the search to reduce fish meal in aquaculture diets and replace it with more sustainable ingredients, such as corn-based or soy-based ingredients, he said.

That quest is even more important because of the growth in the aquaculture industry. Most of the fish in the U.S. is imported from Far Eastern countries such as China, Vietnam and Indonesia. However, regulatory surveillance of those operations is not comparable to that in the U.S.

"When we talk about a sustainable, healthy food supply, that's something we can do here in the U.S.," Rosentrater said. "We control what goes into the diet, how is the fish raised, and we can implement standards to produce healthy fish which will lead to healthy food for humans."

More and more small aquaculture operations are popping up in the Midwest, he said, and DDGS can help meet the demand for sustainable protein sources for these feeds.

DDGS IN AQUACULTURE WEBINAR

The webinar, titled "'Reel' Opportunities for Fishmeal Replacement," will be held on Nov. 4, 2014, at 1 p.m. CST. Those interested in participating should email Courtney Breckenridge at cbreckenridge@ethanolresearch.com or call her at 618-659-6737, ext. 230, to receive login information. There is no cost for the webinar.

Rosentrater said the webinar should last between 60 to 90 minutes and added that there should be a period for participants to ask any question they may have.

Rosentrater will be joined by Jesse Trushenski, associate professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale Center for Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences; Sabrina Trupia, NCERC Research Director; and Parisa Fallahi, postdoctoral fellow at NCERC at SIUE.

Topics that will be discussed in the webinar include: use of DDGS as a fishmeal replacer, opportunities for types of DDGS as a fishmeal substitute, properties of extruded DDGS-based fish feed, manufacturing DDGS-based feeds with an approach to commercialization. Rosentrater said the webinar will also review historic information about DDGS use in fish diets, newer types of fractionated DDGS products and how they can be used.

"We will be trying to give a full picture -- what we do know, where we have been and where we are going," he said. "We want to get aquaculture feed people to the table so they understand that DDGS is an ingredient they can use."

Fallahi said, "We are excited to share past research findings and discuss the exciting opportunities for DDGS that exist in the aquaculture market, in terms of both future research and the pathway to commercialization.

"The best way to fully realize this emerging market is through research collaboration and involving industry partners early in the process. We believe this webinar is a great way to spark new discussions and generate interest."

Cheryl Anderson can be reached at cheryl.anderson@dtn.com.

(AG/SK)


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