From sawdust to protein

Photo: Monica Juarez Ceballos, LetSea Norway

There is a promising new feed ingredient from the forests of Norway, sawdust! Sourcing locally is ideal and in Norway only around 8%* of the raw materials in a salmon diet come from Norway. The Foods of Norway research and development project could create a new local industry of producing raw materials with a low environmental impact.

Within Foods of Norway, BioMar has participated in developing raw materials that do not compete directly with human food, such as protein from by-products from the Norwegian wood industry. The trees’ fibrous structure is broken down into simpler forms of sugar, which are used to ferment protein-rich yeast.

In 2021 a regenerative feed ingredient based on Norwegian spruce was fed to salmon in seawater trials until harvest size. The trial showed promising results, providing important information about how such feed ingredients impact the growth and health of the fish and the quality of the end fillet.

"Through our good partnership with BioMar, we are ready to evaluate yeast in feed for salmon in seawater", Head of Foods of Norway, Professor Margareth Øverland.

In addition, large-scale trials like these allow us to look at production costs and the total sustainability picture. This project represents an entirely new way of producing feed raw materials. Large bioresources and residues are available in Norway, and this project demonstrates that it is possible to obtain feed raw materials from forests, macro-algae, and other waste streams.