BioMar launches new ORBIT diets to salmon smolt farmed in recirculation systems

A new generation of BioMar's ORBIT feed concept targeting the specific challenges of the production of salmon smolt in Recirculation Aquaculture Systems will become available from the beginning of April.

With the rapid expansion of recirculation systems used for smolt production and even in some cases for on-growing of salmon BioMar has decided to apply the successful ORBIT concept to salmon feed and launch a new range of ORBIT products to salmon.

- BioMar's ORBIT concept has for long been the ultimate feed for trout farming in Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS). Fish farmers have praised it for optimal feed performance combined with optimal bio-filter performance. Both contribute to an increased biomass production in farms with RAS and as a consequence, an improved return on investment, says BioMar's Norwegian Product Manager for fresh water diets Kristian Tuff Carlsen.

The new diets focus on delivering high growth and an optimal water quality with a minimal load on the biofilter. This is achieved mainly through a combination of changes in the digestible energy to protein ratio, a perfectly balanced and very precise amino-acid profile, and a careful selection of raw materials.

The launch of the new product range follows three years of R&D work with trials performed in laboratories and recirculation farms in among other places Norway, Denmark, and Chile.

Kristian Tuff Carlsen explains that a good water quality has been a key success factor in the development of the ORBIT diet for salmon smolt and several changes have been done compared to the standard diets used in the segment: - The result is that we can both reduce the nitrogen load and the amount of organic matter in the water column and we make removal of faeces in sludge cones and mechanical filters easier. This improves the growth conditions for the fish and it increases the capacity of the biofilter allowing for a larger production, he says.

- Our researchers have refined our raw material matrix to perfection to ensure that we have the right information regards to the amino acid profile and digestibility for each raw material type. And we have identified within each raw material type the specific products, which have the optimal profile with regards to these parameters, and at the same type we have identified their potential impact on faeces structure. This allows us to create a very unique diet for smolt in recirculation systems, concludes Kristian Tuff Carlsen.

The new diets are being presented fish farmers with recirculation systems at customer meetings during March with the participation of recirculation specialists from BioMar's global recirculation team. In September BioMar is again the main sponsor for the Nordic RAS workshop, which this year takes place in Molde, Norway. The workshop will gather recirculation experts from the whole world and Kristian Tuff Carlsen looks forward to an event which is an optimal forum for experience sharing and networking between farmers, researchers, and other key persons within recirculation aquaculture.