See all articles

USSEC announces next stage of feed database

The standardization tool for feed formulators takes another step forward.

The US Soybean Export Council (USSEC) launched stage two of the rollout of the International Aquaculture Feed Formulation Database, a standardization tool for feed formulators.

The original version was launched in 2015, and sought to take a page out of the approach terrestrial animal feed formulators use by creating a standardized database of nutritional information for aquaculture species and key feed ingredients.

As "we increase sustainability by moving away from fishmeal and fish oil in aquafeeds, the easy approach to formulation with those ingredients is over," said Lukas Manomaitis, aquaculture program lead technical consultant at USSEC.

"We have to move to more complex formulations using a wide variety of ingredients to meet target nutrient levels. We need formulators that are good at innovative approaches, and that are trained both within a feed company and within the industry."

Fueled by seed money from USSEC and USAID and funding from the Nebraska Soybean Checkoff and the Canadian government, academics led by the University of Guelph's Dominique Bureau began pulling existing aquaculture nutritional information and knowledge into a centralized location.

Private companies, such as Adifo, also provided informational support.

Eleven workshops were held in southeast Asia in 2015 and last year, bringing together formulators to use the first version of the database.

"The IAFFD is a good tool for training and feed mills can use it to benchmark their own databases," said Manomaitis. "Every feed company has their own database, but bringing together aquaculture formulators from multiple companies is difficult because no one wants to share theirs.

"That is the value of having a publicly available aquaculture feed formulation database for use in group situations," he said. "It’s important to note that this is not a USSEC database -- it has international buy-in as an industry standard. We believe it will help to better show the nutritive values of US soy to match the ingredient values."

Stage three begins this year and will include commercial testing to verify data, as well has whole body carcass analysis for 10 species.

"The goal is that within five years, we should be able to do shadow ingredient pricing and have some verification of formulae generated in live animal trials," said Manomaitis.

"Stay tuned. This is a crucial, core tool for formulators, and every year it improves."


For more seafood news and updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our daily newsletter.