HERCULES - lower environmental load

In 2009, Raisioagro was the first in the world to use phytase enzyme in the feeds for large rainbow trout. The use of this enzyme meant a significant drop in the phosphorus load of fish farming. 

According to the feeding studies carried out together with the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, there was a reduction of 26% in the phosphorus load from the additional growth kilo of rainbow trout produced using phytase feed.     

Total phosphorus content in Hercules is only 0.7%. Before, the minimum phosphorus content of large rainbow trout feed was 0.8%.

Improved phosphorus digestibility of vegetable raw materials

Fish, as all other animals, need to obtain phosphorus from the nutrition to build their support structure (bones). In vegetable raw materials, phosphorus is stored in the form of phytic acid. Phytase enzyme is needed to break down phytic acid in the digestive tract.

Monogastric animals, such as fish, have almost no phytase activeness in the digestive tract and therefore, they cannot effectively use the phosphorus from vegetable protein sources. Fish can use only 10-25% of this phosphorus depending on the plant source. This is why fish meal is used as one phosphorus source in fish feeds as its phosphorus is in a more usable form for fish. Phytase enzyme added to Hercules LP feeds changed considerably the ratio of vegetable-fish protein in the feeds.

Phytaseenzyme given through feeds releases approximately 50% of phosphorus in vegetables bound to phytic acid making it usable for fish.This has enabled the increase of vegetable protein share in feeds and the reduction of the fishmeal and of the total phosphorus content in growth feeds by more than 10%. Reduced use of fishmeal has a positive impact on the declining fish populations in the oceans. When the feeding is optimal, Hercules allows producing as much fish protein (170g protein in a kilo of rainbow trout) as consumed in the feed.  

Phytic acid of vegetable proteins is also a harmful anti-nutritional substance that reduces the digestibility of nutrients. Consequently, the digestibility of protein in the feed is improved with the use of phytase enzyme.  

Great importance in growth feeds  

The phytase innovation is used in our 5mm, 7mm and 9mm feed pellets. Hercules feeding can be started with the fish of approximately 120 grams. With the phytase, the target is to have an environmentally significant impact. This is why it is used in feeds whose share is around 95% of the feeds used over the entire fish lifecycle.  

The proportion of feeds in the fry stage is very small in the total feed volume of the fish lifecycle. The amount of feed needed to grow fish from birth to 125 grams is only 5% of the feed needed during the whole lifecycle as the fish grow to 2.5 kg.

Phosphorus content in fish fry is higher than in adult fish, which is why their need for usable phosphorus from nutrition is considerably higher. Thus the fish meal containing a lot of phosphorus usable for fish remains the best alternative as a source of phosphorus and protein for fish fry. Lower fish meal content achieved through the increase of vegetable protein in fry feeds is not good for the fish, nor environmentally sound.

Considerable change in the environmental load

Environmental benefits achieved with Hercules LP can be considered significant. Thanks are due to the fish farmers who have open-mindedly started using Hercules. Since the launch in 2009, a total of 10,000,000 kg live weight has been grown with Hercules (at the end of 2011).