The limited global supply of fishmeal and the fast growing demand for alternative high protein ingredients for aqua species and young animals is an opportunity for the development of industries supplying plant based alternative ingredients. In order to be able to replace fishmeal, however, while supporting growth performances, the plant proteins must be processed to destroy the anti-nutritional factors, or at least minimize them.
In this regard, there is an increased recognition of the potential and importance of soy products in the production of high quality livestock feeds. This is particularly true for improved or second-generation soy products such as soy protein concentrates, soy protein isolates, fermented or enzymatically treated soybean meal. These products are increasingly used in specialty feeds such as used for young animals or aquatic species, especially in the developed markets.
The processing technologies involved in the production of these specialty soy products are critical in the determination of their nutritional value and quality characteristics. To answer this challenge, several research groups and commercial companies from around the world have invested efforts and resources with the primary objectives of developing technologies able to eliminate anti-nutritional factors and find the best possible ingredients to fit the demand of both nutritional requirements and sustainability.
From this point of view, U.S. Soy, with its superior quality attributes, should be a key, sustainable ingredient for the growing European specialty soy protein processing industry manufacturing second-generation high-protein and high-energy soy derived ingredients: soy protein concentrates, soy insulates, fermented soy, soy oil and derivatives. This position is primarily due to its superior high level of available amino acids and metabolizable energy relative to other origin soybeans and other plant proteins such as rapeseed or sunflower meal.
There is a lack of knowledge, however, regarding quality standards for second-generation soy protein products and proper use in animal feeding. In answer to the growing demand for high protein vegetal products, USSEC provided the European end users with educational programs conveying state of the art knowledge and technical information on commercially available specialized soy products last year.
In order to capture growing demand, USSEC should continue to promote U.S. Soy as a superior ingredient for manufacturing soy protein products. Such activities are expected to give a boost to novel soy protein products, mainly manufactured in the U.S. from U.S. Soy.
Continuous education for aqua and livestock nutritionists remains the key; otherwise, cheap products will soon flood the markets, as current and potential users of soy concentrates and fermented ingredients are not able to place a value on quality.