BioMar introduces DNA testing of marine ingredients to improve ‘transparency and traceability’

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Company believes the move is the ‘next step’ in their commitment to responsibly source raw materials.

In a press release, BioMar says it realised more than a decade ago that the salmon industry was unable to grow at the expense of wild fish stocks.

It says since then they have got involved with science-based certification schemes and they have developed alternative raw materials, such as vegetable protein for marine omega-3s, in a bid to be more sustainable.

Vidar Gundersen, the Sustainability Director of BioMar Group, said: “Reports of fraud in many of the world’s largest seafood markets highlights the importance of accurate and reliable traceability data throughout the value chain. BioMar will now be able to genetically test whether the species composition in a sample of raw material matches the reported composition on the traceability certificate.”

The test, which is being developed in partnership with laboratory services company Orivo, is expected to be commercially available from 1 January, 2020.

Svein Erik Haugmo, Orivo CEO, said: “To have BioMar, one of the largest and most innovative aquaculture feed producers, join as our first client in this area has been key.”

“We greatly appreciate the patience and faith they have shown during the development and testing stage of the technology. Their long-term commitment to this project is a sign that the service we are now providing is of value to the feed industry, and we hope this is just the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration.”

Mr Gundersen added: “BioMar has a great deal of trust in our suppliers and understands that both have a responsibility as stewards of the ocean. As such, we expect this new DNA-based test to play a crucial role in efforts focused on building consumer and stakeholder trust.”

Haugmo also revealed that the two companies have been working on new, innovative plans for fish feed.

He said: “Together with BioMar we have started working on selected feed ingredients, but these represent just a small part of the many industry-specific issues which we think can be solved with our technology.”

“We are currently working very hard on developing tests that can address all of these issues, and we plan to launch these consecutively in the near future as soon as they are ready for the market.”