The “FMR” Stands for Fish Meal Replacement
At the World Aquaculture Society Meeting in New Orleans (March 2011), Andrew Logan, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Development at Oberon FMR, Inc., said his company’s product, Profloc™, performed identically to fish meal in shrimp feeds and costs less!
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA, Oberon mixes agricultural byproducts with water, oxygen and some common bacteria to produce bacterial flocs. From those flocs, it produces Profloc™, which has crude protein in excess of 63% and an amino acid profile similar to fish meal.
In an earlier interview with Shrimp News, Logan said, “We use the wastes that come from human food production processes like brewing operations, wet corn milling, sugar production and potato processing. We don’t use animal manures or anything that is not food grade. The floc that we produce is very similar to the floc in shrimp ponds.” He also said that Oberon cultures its biofloc in outdoor concrete tanks. A small production plant that produced 2,000 metric tons of Profloc™ a year would be about the size of a football field.
In his presentation at the WAS meeting, Logan discussed a study that Oberon FMR did in conjunction with Texas A&M University. Five feeds were produced by replacing increasing amounts of fish meal in a commercial shrimp feed with Profloc™. Results: Growth and survival were identical for all animals, regardless of density or inclusion rate of Profloc™.
Telephone Interview with Andy Logan
Shrimp News: It appears that you are targeting the aquaculture feed market—especially the shrimp feed market—with your new feed ingredient, Profloc™. Why is that?
Andy Logan: We focused on the aquaculture feed market because it uses huge amounts of fish meal, and we have a product that replaces fish meal at a lower price. We’ve targeted shrimp because shrimp farms utilize one-sixth of the world’s supply of fish meal, and in their natural environment, shrimp consume bacteria to meet their nutritional needs, so they’re predisposed to performing well on “Profloc™”, which is basically a bacterial product. Shrimp have done especially well on our diets. We have focused on them as a species because we are limited in the number of feed trials that we can run. Having said that, however, we’ve also run trials with fish and poultry, and our product has done very well with them. As we speak, we’re starting a new venture in China that will concentrate on swine feeds. Yes, we’re focusing on shrimp right now, but we’re making a fish meal replacement that can be used in all animal feeds.
Shrimp News: When do you expect to have product on the market?
Andy Logan: Sometime during the first half of 2012. We’re working with MillerCoors (a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company) on a project utilizing brewers’ waste to make Profloc™.
Shrimp News: How much feed will be produced from that project?
Andy Logan: About 6,000 metric tons a year.
Shrimp News: How much space will it take to produce that amount?
Andy Logan: About three football fields.
Shrimp News: Any other projects in the pipeline?
Andy Logan: Earlier I mentioned a project in China. Our partner there has sixty breweries that could potentially convert their waste products into a high-protein feed. In India, we’re talking with one of the biggest feed manufacturers. It’s also in the food processing business and generates the waste products that we need to make Profloc™. We are talking with a small brewer in the western USA, as well as a USA feed and commodities company that is among the largest in the world.
Shrimp News: How much are you going to charge for “Profloc™”?
Andy Logan: $1,100 a metric ton. Not only is that below the price of fish meal, we will also be able to offer long-term prices on contracts that avoid all the price fluctuations in the meal market.
Information: Andrew Logan, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Development, Oberon FMR, Inc., 831 Pearl Street, Boulder, Colorado 80302, USA (phone 1-303-889-9123, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage http://www.oberonfmr.com).
Information: John Cooksey, World Aquaculture Conference Management, P.O. Box 2302, Valley Center, California 92082, USA (phone 1-760-751-5005, fax 1-760-751-5003, email email@example.com, webpage https://www.was.org/Main/Default.asp).
Sources: 1. World Aquaculture Society. The CD/Abstracts of Aquaculture America 2011. Replacement of Fishmeal with Bacterial Single-Cell Protein in Feeds for White Shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei in an Outdoor Experimental Pond Production System. Andrew Logan (firstname.lastname@example.org, VP of Product Development Oberon FMR, Inc., 831 Pearl Street, Boulder, Colorado 80302, USA), Addison Lawrence, Albert Tacon, Joe Fox and Dustin Wing). New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, March 2011. 2. Oberon–Today’s Protein. Andrew Logan’s slide presentation at Aquaculture America 2011, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, March 3, 2011. 3. Andrew Logan. Telephone interview by Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International. June 17, 2011.