THE Soil Association has met its target of eliminating the use of synthetic antioxidants in its certified organic fish feeds. Only natural antioxidants are now permitted in these feeds and their ingredients.
This is the first time such a requirement has been placed on any sector of the fish farming industry. Four months have now passed since the deadline set by the Soil Association in July 2007, and all those involved in the production of Soil Association-certified organic fish feeds and their ingredients have successfully switched to natural products.
Organic foods and animal feeds aim to avoid all synthetic ingredients, but while the terrestrial organic feed industry has already replaced synthetic antioxidants with natural alternatives, it has been more of a challenge to protect the unique highly unsaturated fats found in fishmeal and fish oil from spoilage by oxidation.
After establishing the availability of potential natural products, the Soil Association set a deadline of July 1, after which all antioxidants used in organic fish feeds and their raw materials must be of natural origin. By working with fishmeal and oil manufacturers, feed mills and various companies developing natural antioxidant products, the necessary testing and development has taken place and the Soil Association has met its target.
Peter Bridson, Soil Association Aquaculture Programme Manager, said: “It has been very satisfying to bring all the links of the supply chain together to work on this project. It has required a lot of testing. We agreed the deadline with the stakeholders last year and everyone has worked together to achieve it. By using fishmeal and oil made from the recycled filleting wastes of fish already caught for human consumption, we already have the most sustainable feeds in the industry, and it is great to know that we can also protect their unique omega-3 fatty acids with natural antioxidants.”