The “accident” enhanced its distinct colour.
Norwegian scientists have discovered that adding a certain fish bone mineral hydrolysate to salmon feed can increase pink flesh pigmentation according to Feed Navigator.
According to the publication, researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Agriculture research (Nofima) were investigating if the mineral, phosphorus that had been hydrolysed from fish bones could be used as an efficient source of the mineral in salmon feed. They found that this appeared to influence astaxanthin uptake ie the pigment that lends itself to the salmon distinctive colour.
While wild salmon obtain astaxanthin from the algae and shrimp that they eat, however farmed salmon obtain added astaxanthin from formulated feed.
The discovery of the improved pigment could prov essential for improving the appearance and the market value of the fish.