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Researchers speak out on ‘perfect salmon feed’

Calysta plans US-based, commercial-sized salmon feed plant for 2018.

Earlier this year, US biotech company Calysta announced its idea for the perfect salmon feed — made from methane — was becoming viable for production and now the research team behind the effort is giving details on how it works.

Scientists at the University of Nottingham’s Synthetic Biology Research Centre, who are working with Calysta and biotech company CHAIN Biotech, are working to develop microbial technology, which uses microorganisms to ferment methane gas into valuable nutritional supplements.

“We specialize in the use of fermentation of certain gases to produce sustainable industrial chemicals and biofuels and now through this project to produce vital feedstock ingredients like omega-3 fatt acids,” said Biology Research Centre Professor Nigel Minton. “We will be engineering the methanococcus microbe to produce polyunsaturated fatty acids fro a cheap and replenishable feedstock — methane gas.”

The “huge potential benefits,” Minton said, include reducing dependency on fishing, lowering costs and creating an efficient use for a “plentiful gas” that can be harmful to the environment if left unharnessed.

Calysta is planning to expand from its California location and open a market introduction facility for the product in Teesside, England, later in 2016.

A US-based, commercial-sized plant is planned for 2018.

“Successful completion of this research will result in a step-change in sustainable human nutrition and will be welcomed by the food industry, retailers and consumers globally,” said Calysta President and CEO Alan Shaw.

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