AquaBioTech Group and Enifer Collaboration

In a recent research trial conducted at Innovia, in collaboration with Enifer, a company specializing in sustainable mycoprotein ingredients, we investigated the impact of replacing fish meal in the diets of whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) with increasing levels of Enifer’s PEKILO® Aqua (Table 1). This fungi-based protein was tested at varying inclusion levels (0% to 30%) to replace fish meal in the shrimp diets.

About Enifer: 

Enifer is a startup founded by five scientists in 2020 to develop and commercialize the proprietary PEKILO® technology further.  A process originally developed and used by the Finnish forest industry at a commercial scale, the PEKILO® technology enables the biotechnological conversion of dilute side streams into high-protein mycoprotein ingredients, like PEKILO® Aqua for aquaculture. Requiring no new agricultural land and minimal water, PEKILO® makes an ideal sustainable drop-in ingredient for aquafeed, pet food, and food production. 


After an 8-week growth period, we found that shrimp fed the diet with 0% fish meal and 30% PEKILO® Aqua significantly increased final average body weights (Table 2, Figure 1) compared to those fed diets with higher fish meal content, whilst not affecting overall feed intake. The final average weight of shrimp in this group was recorded at 25.8g (compared to the 23.3g at 0% inclusion). The SGR was also positively affected, increasing as inclusion level increased relative to the ENI-15P, ENI-22.5 and ENI-30P diets when the whole trial was taken into consideration (Table 3).








Additionally, survival rates were higher in shrimp fed the higher PEKILO® containing diets (Table 4), indicating potential health benefits. Nutritional advantages were also found through carcass analysis which revealed a significantly higher crude protein content in shrimp fed the 30% PEKILO® Aqua diet compared to those fed diets with higher fish meal content (Table 5). 









The results show that PEKILO® Aqua, especially for the ENI15P and ENI30P diets tested, brought about an improvement in the shrimp growth without an increase to feed intake and FCR. 

This research enhances our understanding of the benefits of alternative proteins in reducing the demand for fish meal derived from wild fish stocks and advancing sustainability in the aquaculture industry. The team at AquaBioTech looks forward to supporting more research projects in the future, further contributing valuable insights to the ongoing efforts in advancing sustainable aquaculture practices.