The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) has granted the approval of Aquaterra omega-3 oil for use in fish feed applications.
Aquaterra omega-3 oil is derived from canola enhanced with microalgae genes via genetic modification. West Sacramento, California, U.S.A.-based Nuseed Nutritional U.S., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nufarm Limited, claims the product is the the world's first plant-based source of DHA, EPA, and ALA omega-3s.
“The requirement that the feed must be safe and not be harmful to human or animal health, or make food from animals unsuitable for human consumption, is met,” NFSA said in its review. “Furthermore, we consider that the requirement that feed shall not have adverse effects on the environment has also been met."
Both the oil and the feed must be labeled as genetically modified, and the NFSA attached special conditions involving traceability to its approval.
"This is a huge step forward in recognizing the value of nutritional-driven innovation from agriculture," Nufarm CEO Greg Hunt said in a press release. “Nuseed Omega-3 Canola is a novel and much-needed source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Wild-caught fish are the main source of these nutrients today, but increasing demand and climate change threaten supply chain stability.”
Hunt said there’s a huge potential market in Norway for the Aquaterra product, given Norway leads the world in farmed salmon production at more than 1.6 million metric tons annually.
“Omega-3 oils are essential to the health and welfare of farmed salmon, so the limited supply of fish oil constrains industry growth,” he said. “One to two hectares of Nuseed Omega-3 Canola can produce as much DHA as 10,000 one-kilogram wild fish. There is an opportunity to double the global supply of these important nutrients on less than 5 percent of current canola production land.”
Nuseed Omega-3 Canola was developed in collaboration with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). The product is intended as a plant-based alternative to wild fish as an input to fishmeal and fish oil.
"This approval is groundbreaking and further validation of Aquaterra's safety and importance to Norway's salmon industry." Nuseed Group Executive Brent Zacharias said. “Collaborative studies conducted by industry and NOFIMA, a leading Norwegian applied research institute within aquaculture, have demonstrated that salmon that are fed Aquaterra diets produce higher-quality fillets with increased omega-3 content.”
Nuseed Nutritional Global General Manager Benita Boettner said Norway has been a prime target market for Aquaterra Omega-3 oil throughout its development.
“We are excited about the positive contribution to the industry," Boettner said. “Aquaculture produces more than half of the fish people eat today. Advancing the seafood industry is essential because farmed fish are less resource intensive, with a lower-carbon impact than other proteins. Aquaterra provides a sustainable omega-3 oil that reduces pressure on our marine resources and facilitates aquaculture's growth by closing supply gaps.”
Nuseed has also developed Aquaterra Omega-3 as a supplementary oil for human nutrition. Both the aquaculture additive and the oil are certified by Friend of the Sea.
Established in 2006, Nuseed has 11 locations in Australia, Europe, North America, and South America, including three proprietary innovation centers, more than 400 employees, and sales in more than 30 countries.
Photo courtesy of NuSeed