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Optimization of Aquatic Feed with Underutilised Okara
In Singapore, more than 30,000kg of okara, a by-product from soya milk and tofu production, is generated on a daily basis. Due to the high amount of insoluble dietary fiber and a unique, poignant smell of okara, it is often discarded as a waste product. Despite okara's low palatability, it is still rich in nutrients. Only a small portion of okara is used in animal feed, but there is also potential for okara as an alternative protein source for aquatic feed.
This cost-effective formulation to include okara in feed for abalone has been developed. The formulation can also be adapted and potentially customised for other aquatic species such as shrimp and fish.
This technology provider is seeking partners for collaborations to develop new applications using the existing technology, for example feed formulation for shrimp or fish and/or licensing of the technology.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
This cost-effective feed is designed for high-value abalone, a commonly cultured species of mollusc. Okara-based abalone feed is currently not available in the market.
Advantages and innovations of the technology include:
- Alternative nutrient source for animal feed supports sustainability of food supply and reduction of food waste
- Cost-effective plant-based functional ingredient lowers the costs of feed for aquaculture farms
- Nutritional composition of the feed may be tailored for different species
- Feed results in increased growth rates and survivability
A small-scale field trial found that okara-based feed completely replacing fish meal feed gave the following benefits:
- Better growth in terms of length (15-20%)
- Better weight (15-20%) for abalone compared to commercial feed containing fish meal
- Cost approximately 30% less than commercial feed used in the industry
- Resulted in a beautiful purple colouration of the shell. Good shell coloration is key to increased selling potential of mollusc.
This Okara-based feed is a good alternative nutrient source for animal feed.
Its nutritional composition of the feed may be developed and tailored for different species:
- High-value mollusc. Okara-based feed has already been developed for abalone, with positive results showing increased growth rates and survivability
The cost of this Okara-based feed is approximately 30% lower than commercial feed. Besides better growth rates, okara-based feed has shown change in shell colour pigmentation, resulting in a beautiful purple colouration of the shell of abalone. Good shell coloration is key to increased selling potential of mollusc.