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DSM signs contract with SalmoSim for the use of salmon digestion simulator

Thursday, June 9, 2022

SalmoSim, the startup behind an Atlantic salmon digestion simulator, has secured a new contract with Royal DSM to support the development of its sustainable aquaculture feed offering. The gut simulation technology will be used by DSM to explore the effects of different ingredients, enzymes, vitamins and supplements that could be included in its range of salmon feed products to boost fish health and wellbeing.

SalmoSim’s latest contract win comes as the University of Glasgow spin-out published new research demonstrating the value of using its artificial gut model to test the potential benefits of using prebiotics in salmon feed. The study shows that using a commercially available prebiotic lead to a significant shift in the types of bacteria present within the gut, with increased levels of lactic acid and probiotic bacteria. Researchers also found greater levels of essential fatty acids were produced, which are crucial for maintaining healthy digestive systems in fish.

With the aquaculture sector moving away from antibiotic treatment, novel fish feeds with functional ingredients, such as prebiotics, are being explored more widely by seafood producers and the supply chain.

Sebastien Rider, senior aquaculture scientist at Royal DSM, said, “we are excited to be using the SalmoSim technology to enhance salmonid nutrition and welfare. By exploring the impact of different combinations of ingredients we can gather essential feedback and data that will help develop more sustainable and effective aquaculture feed products, which support fish health and the wider growth of the sector.”

SalmoSim tests are designed to supplement live, in vivo, salmon feed ingredient trials, which can come with a huge investment. Testing sites are sporadic and the process can take up to six months to complete, compared to a six-week gut simulation for microbiome simulations and just days for digestibility trials. Each in vivo trial could cost up to £150,000 and, by comparison, the simulator can achieve results for a fraction of the time and cost.

The SalmoSim gut simulator was first developed during a collaborative research project that began in 2016, funded in part by the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). The consortium, led by the University of Glasgow, included Nofima, Alltech and Mowi, with the Marine Institute and University College Cork both involved in a linked project.

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