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NAERINGSPH-Nærings-phd

In vitro methods for screening novel ingredients

Alternative title: In vitro-metoder for screening av nye ingredienser

Awarded: NOK 1.8 mill.

Project Manager:

Project Number:

336672

Application Type:

Project Period:

2022 - 2025

Funding received from:

Location:

Two of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are to achieve food security and improved nutrition (SDG 2) and conserve marine resources (SDG 14). In the last years, per capita fish consumption has almost doubled, increasing the demand for fish and putting wild fish stocks under pressure. Aquaculture is anticipated to cover 62 % of this demand by 2030. While husbandry and disease control have improved fish health and welfare, improved feeds and additives are the fundamental means of enhancing fish performance in aquaculture. To improve aquaculture environmental and financial sustainability, the ratio of the marine origin components within feeds has reduced considerably. The elaboration of new feeds, using novel raw materials, needs to ensure that both fish and final products are of the highest quality. Currently, in vivo trials are the most common strategies to study the effect of new protein sources or feed additives. Although physiologically relevant, in vivo trials have several ethical, and practical disadvantages, besides being time-consuming and costly. In vitro models offer the opportunity to reduce harm via the replacement of in vivo models. Currently, there are several in vitro models based on cell lines. Using these tools, we can indirectly determine the effect of new feed additives or bioactive components in the fish. This industrial PhD project will increase knowledge on nutrition and health, particularly on the interaction between feed compounds and their absorption on cells. An in vitro system will be developed to screen novel ingredients or bioactive compounds. This will directly contribute to developing new diets and reduce the time and number of animals used for testing new diet formulations. The outcome of the PhD project will provide essential solutions to the aquaculture sector that enable the salmon industry to expand sustainably without compromising fish health and welfare.

The Atlantic salmon (Salma salar) aquaculture has increased intensely in recent years alongside the culture of other fish species and has become one of the fastest-growing food-producing sectors. To ensure production growth improvements in fish growth and health are essential. The elaboration of new feeds, using novel raw materials, needs to ensure that both fish and final products are of the highest quality. Currently, in vivo trials are the most common strategies to study the effect of new protein sources or feed additives, and more sustainable alternatives are highly needed. Furthermore, Ax is widely used for flesh pigmentation of salmonid fish, and at present, it constitutes a major part of the feed cost. Beyond this, Ax could have other physiological functions, such as being an antioxidant or a precursor of vitamin A. To this aim, nanotechnology has emerged as a powerful means of encapsulating, protecting, and delivering bioactive substances in foods, thereby improving their efficacy. These nanoscale delivery systems should be constructed entirely from food-grade ingredients and should be designed to provide resistance against the elevated temperatures, light levels, and oxygen levels they may be exposed to during food processing and storage. This industrial PhD project will contribute to increasing the knowledge on nutrition, encapsulation, and health, in particular on the interaction between feed compounds and their absorption on cells. An in vitro system will be developed to screen novel ingredients or bioactive compounds. This will directly contribute towards the development of new diets and reduce the time and number of animals used for testing new diet formulations. The outcome of the PhD project will provide essential solutions to the aquaculture sector that enable the salmon industry to expand in a sustainable manner without compromising fish health and welfare.

Funding scheme:

NAERINGSPH-Nærings-phd