Prime & Express: maximizing growth, minimizing production time
10 August 2017
Launching in Canada and USA in Q1 2018, Skretting’s groundbreaking new Prime and Express diets utilize the full growth potential of salmon, providing farmers with the means to further enhance their operations.
10 August 2017: Over the course of the past three decades, Skretting's Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) has conducted pioneering research into the functionality of the different nutrients in fish and shrimp feeds. There are a number of stimuli that influence feeding, including taste and hunger. Skretting's ARC has successfully found ways to positively influence both of these factors in salmon, thereby enabling fish to eat more and digest feed more efficiently.
“This unique body of work has provided the platform for Prime and Express – our two new grower diets are explicitly designed to stimulate and enhance appetite and food intake of salmon,” says Sissel Susort, Global Product Group Manager for Skretting. “They work in tandem to facilitate the best possible growth of the fish at two crucial growth stages, with Prime optimizing consumption at the first seawater growth phase of the production cycle – up to 1 kilogram; Express takes over in the final grow-out phase – taking the salmon right through to harvest.”
Foundations for growth
Prime and Express expand on Skretting’s current salmon feed options, providing greater flexibility to fish farmers and the broader seafood supply chain.
The new grower diets follow an organ system approach, an innovative way to reimagine the fish growth process. The result was two distinct products, each of which are tailored to the physiological requirements of the fish at different life stages. Prime prepares, or primes, the fish, building a solid foundation to support fast, high-quality growth. Express builds on the framework created by Prime, maximizing the speed of growth by enabling the fish to fully utilize the nutritional potential in the feed. This means that the feed can go through the digestive process much faster.
“Good growth in the first seawater phase should support the recruitment of new muscle fibres and a healthy bone deposition. In the later seawater phase that leads to harvest, growth occurs primarily by enlargement of the existing muscle fibres and by deposition of fat. Growth at this final stage is only as good as the foundation that we lay in the first phase. With Prime and Express, we are supporting fast growth by giving the salmon everything that they need to thrive from the get-go,” explains Christian De Santis, Researcher at Skretting ARC.
Digestive and energy efficiency
Prime and Express have been designed using our strong understanding of the digestive physiology of salmon. This allows us to offer a solution that can be broken down and processed much faster than conventional diets.
“This means that food stays in the stomach for a shorter period of time. And if the stomach empties faster, the fish will be ready to consume again sooner,” says De Santis.
Grower feeds typically contain high levels of fat. Salmon will digest and absorb this fat and deposit it in the fillet. However, processing a high-fat feed can be challenging to the fish’s digestive system. Express is designed to enable salmon to take up the fat from the feed much more proficiently.
“Validation trials conducted with Express showed that it significantly reduced the accumulation of fat in the intestinal cells, suggesting a more effective absorption of fat,” says De Santis.
“In collaboration with a customer, Skretting compared the growth characteristics and feed conversion of Express with several other commercially available grower feeds. Customers report that Express results in extremely good growth and the lowest FCR in class,” confirms Susort.
Faster production OR bigger fish?
Thanks to Skretting ARC’s focus on optimizing appetite, feed intake and digestion, Prime and Express will enable salmon farmers to reduce their production time by as much as four weeks. Alternatively, if they wish to maintain their current production timescales, then harvest weight can be increased by up to 700 grams.
“Fast growth or harvest are the most important aspect in salmon aquaculture since they reducs operating costs and also reduce the associated risks of farming fish in open ocean locations,” says Susort.
“Together, Prime and Express are a game-changing solution that will provide customers with the increased flexibility to do what is best for their production system without taking any shortcuts or unnecessary risks. Whether they choose to reduce the production time or to provide the market with larger salmon, there are considerable benefits from either action,” she says.
Prime and Express will be launched gradually to all major salmon markets with timings and availability communicated locally to all customers and partners.