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Product development ensures fish feed’s high quality


Fennoaqua has been developing and producing fish feed since 1982. From the beginning, we have focused on innovative feeds that promote fish welfare and considered the northern environment’s requirements and sustainability. Being part of Alltech Group has brought us more opportunities for product development. As a result of this cooperation, we now offer new Vital and Vital Plus added-value packages.

Fennoaquan tuotekehityksen Antti Hänninen ja Olle Lerche tutkimassa rehuerää

Antti Hänninen and Knut-Olof “Olle” Lerche work in Fennoaqua product development. Lerche has been with Fennoaqua since 2007. Before that, he was an aquaculture teacher for 18 years, so he is familiar with the practicalities of fish farming. Hänninen has been with Fennoaqua for 2.5 years and, prior to that, worked as a process engineer for several years in Norway and Scotland in fish feed production.

In product development, the work evolves around developing and maintaining feed recipes when raw material batches or suppliers change and exploring potential raw materials with the procurement department.

“In addition, we follow closely the research and scientific publications of our field from around the world and constantly improve our feeds as new information becomes available”, says Lerche.

Hänninen is the Quality Manager for product development. His job is to ensure that each product contains the right ingredients: raw materials, nutrients, and added-value packages. He also ensures that each production batch that goes out to the customer meets the required specifications in terms of the physical quality of the feed. The day usually starts with a quality check of the production batches of the previous day.

“The quality of the product is measured using several parameters. Essential properties include durability of the pellets, nutritional content such as protein and fat, moisture, floatability/sinkability, and pellet size”, Hänninen lists.

The product developers also spend their workdays meeting with procurement, sales, production, customers, raw material suppliers, and other stakeholders.

Since joining the Alltech Group, Fennoaqua has gained international relations, colleagues, and expertise. For example, we are in weekly contact with the product development department of our sister company, Alltech Coppens, in the Netherlands to plan future tests, such as raw material digestibility tests and share research knowledge.

Increased resources for product development

Being part of the Alltech Group has brought tangible benefits to Fennoaqua’s product development. For example, Alltech Coppens’ research facility Aqua Center (ACAC) and its resources are available to us as if we had our in-house research facility. Our broader knowledge and more diversified research resources directly benefit our customers, for whom we can develop even better products.

ACAC conducts practical, applicable research within the field of aquaculture. In the past 15 years, the centre has carried out hundreds of studies on fish digestion and energy metabolism, the requirements of different fish species, and their optimal feed levels. The centre has also developed products, materials, additives, and raw materials such as substitutes for fishmeal and fish oil. The ACAC allows testing feeds and recipes under realistic conditions and with actual fish.

ACAC’s research is always based on the four Ps, also acknowledged by us at Fennoaqua:

  • Palatability: the feed must be palatable to the fish
  • Performance: the feed must ensure the growth and wellbeing of the fish
  • Pollution control: reduce pollution from fish faeces
  • Planet: minimise the negative effects of fish farming

You can read more about ACAC here.

New added-value packages Vital and Vital Plus maximise fish growth and welfare

Thanks to cooperation with Alltech Coppens’ product development department, we have already introduced the Vital and Vital Plus added-value packages to our product range. These packages maximise the additional growth and wellbeing of the fish and the income to be gained. The value packages contain an Aquate premix, high vitamin C and E concentration, and a Top3 wellness package. Vital Plus is aimed at smaller fish species and includes short and medium organic acids and natural oils that improve resistance.

“The Aquate premix in the Vital feeds is a great health package that stimulates the fish’s immune system and promotes their gut health. The organic minerals in the mix are well absorbed and important for the fish’s wellbeing in many ways,” says Lerche.

Find out more about the added-value packages:

Vital added-value package

Vital Plus added-value package