BioMar reveals ultra-precise DNA testing tech for marine ingredients

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | N_u_T
Getty | N_u_T

Related tags Aquaculture aqua feed Dna testing

New DNA-technology able to precisely determine the species composition of marine ingredients will improve transparency and traceability in seafood value chains, according to a global aquaculture feed producer.

Seafood authenticity is a key parameter for seafood quality, particularly in Europe where regulations provide a strict framework for seafood labeling.

Leading aquaculture feed producer BioMar has collaborated with Orivo, the marine-based ingredient testing lab, to create new ultra-precise tech which it claims can detect the presence of even very small amounts of DNA.  

The firm, which operates 14 feed factories across the globe, believes that DNA-testing of marine ingredients will answer the calls for improved transparency and traceability in seafood value chains.

BioMar claims it has been improving the sustainability profile of its sourced fisheries for the last 15 years by supporting science-based certification schemes (IFFO RS, MSC, ASC, etc.) and developing alternative raw materials, such as vegetable protein and microalgae for marine omega-3s.

The firm says that supporting the development of DNA-testing of marine ingredients is the next step in its commitment to responsible sourcing of marine raw materials.

­Vidar Gundersen, Sustainability Director, BioMar Group, said: “Reports of fraud in many of the world’s largest seafood markets highlights the importance of accurate and reliable traceability data throughout the value chain.

"BioMar will now be able to genetically test whether the species composition in a sample of raw material matches the reported composition on the traceability certificate.

"BioMar has a great deal of trust in our suppliers and understands that both have a responsibility as stewards of the ocean. As such, we expect this new DNA-based test to play a crucial role in efforts focused on building consumer and stakeholder trust.”

The new testing tech will become commercially available from January 2020. 

Norway-based ORIVO provides authenticity testing technology based on proven NMR- and DNA-technologies combined with 'strong database and analysis algorithms'.  

It is is able to verify marine species and region of origin via quality assured sampling protocols and it serves the global markets independent third party verification to meet the consumer demand for non-adulterated and sustainable feed and supplements.

Svein Erik Haugmo, ORIVO's CEO, says his firm is looking to increase its footprint in the feed industry.

“Together with BioMar we have started working on selected feed ingredients, but these represent just a small part of the many industry-specific issues which we think can be solved with our technology.

"We are currently working very hard on developing tests that can address all of these issues, and we plan to launch these consecutively in the near future as soon as they are ready for the market.”

Aquaculture feed production

BioMar, owned by the Danish industrial group Schouw & Co, currently operates factories in Norway, Chile, Denmark, Scotland, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador and very soon also in Australia.

Roughly one out of five farmed fish produced in Europe, South and Central America is fed on BioMar feed.

Worldwide, BioMar supplies feed to around 80 countries and for more than 45 different fish species. 

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