- Marine ingredients play an essential role in global food security, consumed either by the animals that we eat or through fish oil capsules (health food supplements and pharmaceuticals).
- The raw material of marine ingredients comes from natural resources.
- The production process for fishmeal and fish oil only removes water, and is conducted through processes that after decades of innovation are directed towards protecting the full nutritional qualities of the materials.
In feed, fishmeal and fish oil are a balanced, highly digestible and palatable feed ingredient, which are used at strategic stages of the production cycle of animal in support of growth and health. The properties found in fishmeal and fish oil provide key health benefits to the farmed animals, such as optimal immune system function. While fishmeal and fish oil remain the foundation of aquafeed and continue to be an essential ingredient, the finite supply of these ingredients has led to the increasing use of additional raw materials (soya, wheat and land animal proteins). With the aquaculture industry expected to continue to grow to meet future nutritional needs, both marine ingredients and additional raw materials (including algal products, microbial proteins, insect meal) will be needed to meet this growing demand.
Direct use of fish oil in human foods and capsules is an increasingly significant outlet – the so-called ‘nutraceuticals’. The daily recommended intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA, of 250 to 500 mg can then be met through fish oil supplements.
A more detailed value chain can be seen below, showing the different certification standards at each stage.