U.S. commercial companies and USSEC members joining efforts has proven to be a winning strategy for expanding to new markets. This is especially true when novel ingredients must reach new customers from new markets. Initiated by USSEC, the second annual aqua technical conference organized in Greece in September 2019 proved to be an excellent platform to promote the state-of-the-art U.S. soy protein ingredients.
South Dakota’s innovative high value U.S. soy ingredient, ME-PRO®, was introduced to the Greek aqua industry sector by Mark Luecke, CEO of Prairie AquaTech company. “ME-PRO® was developed by a partnership between South Dakota State University and South Dakota Innovation Partners, an investment company established to start and manage companies dedicated to meeting crucial challenges in health and nutrition,” stated Mr. Luecke. “Prairie AquaTech is part of South Dakota Innovation Partners’ portfolio of companies.”
Besides having over 70 percent crude protein content and with highly digestible protein and available phosphorus content, ME-PRO® is manufactured from non-GM soybeans, which makes it a perfect match for the European aqua industry. The state-of-the-art protein is processed from South Dakota soybean meal using natural occurring, non-toxigenic, and non-pathogenic microbes.
Results from fish feeding trials organized recently demonstrated that the ME-PRO® sustained fish health and high performance: growth, feed efficiency, and in comparison, to more costly ingredients. Even under commercial conditions and at inclusion rates from 15 to 40 percent of the dry diet, the fish fed with ME-PRO® had outstanding performances, in a wide variety of marine and freshwater species of fish and shrimp.
“We are considering to continue process improvements and application experimentation with other animals to establish even broader utilization value of ME-PRO® in relation to fish meal,” stated Mr. Luecke. Results from trials on weaning pigs and dairy calves are very good. The ME-PRO® fed piglets had lower rates of post-weaning diarrhea syndrome and calves had better growth performance and feed efficiency, he elaborated.
The conference was a great opportunity to meet directly with Greece’s commercial aqua sector. They have long waited for a high-quality fish meal replacement and Prairie AquaTech’s is the kind of aqua grade soy needed by the fast-growing fish production in European countries, led by the salmon farming industry from Norway and sea bream and sea bass clusters from Greece.
- Animal Utilization