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Encapsulation technique for alternative feeds in the aquaculture industry

Country of Origin: Singapore
Reference Number: TOSG20190108003
Publication Date: 23 January 2019

Summary

A Singapore academic and research institute has developed an encapsulation technology that enables targeted delivery of essential nutrients, such as proteins and lipids to the digestion systems of marine fish larvae. 
It also lowers operational costs by helping to address issues relating to live feeds shortages as well as achieve price stability of larviculture feeds throughout the year.
The institute is seeking partners including all sizes of SMEs and MNEs through technology licensing.

Description

The Singapore research institute has developed an encapsulation technology using the layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly technique to develop larval microcapsules. The institute has used stimuli responsive edible biopolymer-based materials as outer layer shells or coats to encapsulate essential nutrients, such as lipids and amino acids. 

The dual stimuli-responsive properties of the biopolymer help protect the essential nutrients and release them upon external triggers, such as change of pH and ionic strength in the larval fish gut.

The biopolymer used in the encapsulation technology exhibits high stability and strength to prevent the leaching of nutrients. The encapsulation technology helps in the formulation of small and uniform particle sizes (around 50-100 micrometers) that are easily detectable and consumable by fish larvae.

The microcapsules developed using the encapsulation technology act as an alternative aquaculture feed and find application in the marine or freshwater larviculture industry as a partial or full replacement for live larval feeds. They can be used for larviculture feed formulation.

The Singapore institute seeks licensing agreements for the developed encapsulation technology with MNEs or SMEs of all sizes where the partner could license and further develop the technology into new applications or products that can be introduced to its market segments.

Advantages and Innovations

The resultant microcapsules developed with the encapsulation technology are easily digested in the digestive tract of fish larvae.

Another advantage is that it helps in the development of custom formulations of nutrients that can be tailored based on the growth of fish larvae. The technology also ensures optimal floating and suspension time to facilitate easy capture from the first-feeding larvae.

With larval rearing being one of the key steps in closing life cycle loops in the aquaculture industry, the technology will find high adoption potential as it ensures larval feeds with high nutritional value.

The technology can also help in overcoming the challenges associated with providing optimal nutrition to fish larvae and shortage of live feeds, such as rotifers and Artemia nauplii due to seasonal variations. It also brings down operational costs by helping to achieve price stability of larviculture feeds throughout the year.

Stage Of Development

Under development/lab tested

Stage Of Development Comment

The technology is available for licensing.

Requested partner

The Singapore institute seeks to partner SMEs of all sizes and MNEs. The partner can be product developers or manufacturers of aquaculture feeds.

The type of partnerships sought would be in the form of licensing agreements where partner could license the technology and incorporate it for further development into its applications or products.

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