Young Danish firm touts high volumes of microalgae to feed giants

[Denmark] Young Danish firm Aliga is seeking cooperation with the major fish feed players to use its microalgae-derived products in aquafeed formulations, sales director David Erlandsson told Undercurrent News.

Speaking at the recent AquaNor show in Trondheim, Norway, Erlandsson said talks with the major players in the fish feed industry were ongoing.

“One big problem for feed manufacturers when it comes to microalgae-derived ingredients is finding steady and reliable supply of sufficient volumes,” he said. “With our technology, we believe we can provide those volumes, as we have a continuous production of high quality biomass, which we harvest daily.”

Erlandsson claims Aliga can produce a biomass-per-year figure many times that of some potential competitors, which are at around 30t.

The north Denmark-based company – now one year old as a commercial enterprise – can grow a variety of different strains of microalgae, allowing for the production of biomass rich in EPA [eicosapentaenoic acid] and DHA [docosahexaenoic acid] omega-3 oils, proteins, vitamins and other nutrients in demand from the aquaculture industry.

As it states on its website: “In our closed and fully controlled bioreactor systems, we have facilitated the optimal growth conditions according to the microalgae’s growth protocol and operate our systems under a continuous regime to achieve the highest yield of highly nutritional and pathogen-free biomass.”

“The biomass is harvested daily through a controlled process and thereafter derived either into paste, powder or oil products.”

At present Aliga sells its products to hatcheries as zooplankton feed and green-water techniques (one method of raising farmed fish in water with algae) for finfish like seabass and bream, as well as for shrimp and mussels.

But the company is also looking to court feed manufacturers seeking to expand their portfolios with fish-free feeds, where microalgae components are important ingredients, said Erlandsson.

To explore potential opportunities with these fish-free components, Aliga has partnered with the Danish Technology Institute and the Technical University of Denmark, and would welcome any other university cooperation, he added.

“We’re a private equity-backed company, so we need to make money,” noted Erlandsson. “This is a business which is viable at scale, which is what we’ve aimed for.”

The private equity backing is in this project for the long-haul, said Erlandsson. “They are focused on sustainable innovation. We see great potential for algae-derived omega-3 for the human consumption market as well, but our first priority is aquafeed.”

 

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