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Thursday, May 18, 2017

F3 Update: Asia maintains lead

Global “F3 Challenge” hits halfway point for USD $200,000 prize

A team from China is leading five other teams from around the world at the midpoint in a contest competing for more than USD $200,000 in prize money for developing a viable food source for fish farms without using fish in the ingredient list.

The result, contest organisers say, will help insure a sustainable supply of seafood for the planet by scaling up fish-free feed, called “F3” to meet the global demand for high-quality protein to feed the world’s growing population.

Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co., Ltd is in first place with 53,815 metric tonnes of feed sold, and the team comprised of Myanmar-based Htoo Thit Co. and global animal nutrition company Biomin is in second place with 29,600 metric tonnes sold to date.

Contestants are using everything from insects to algae as a base to develop a fish-free aquaculture feed. The winning team must demonstrate that their fishless fish food is a viable, cost-competitive alternative to conventional fish-based feed. The contestants must prove their recipe can scale up by targeting sales of 100,000 metric tonnes by September 15, 2017, or be the furthest along by the challenge end date.

Fish farms, or aquaculture, now provide about half of the world’s seafood. But some fish farm owners are looking to innovate new ways to feed all those billions of fish in a way that doesn’t rely on fish resources from the ocean. The challenge is, in the wild, fish eat other smaller “forage fish.”

Currently, forage fish are harvested from the wild and ground up into fishmeal to feed all those aquaculture fish, removing forage fish that whales, sea birds, and larger fish like tuna need to eat.

Professor Kevin Fitzsimmons, University of Arizona and former president of the World Aquaculture Society is a judge of the F3 Challenge. He expounded, “This contest aims to change that, just as grass-fed beef has helped make that industry more ecologically sustainable.”

The six teams also include partnerships from more than one country. Nations represented include China, U.S., Australia, Austria, Myanmar, South Africa, Pakistan, and Thailand. These teams are advancing to the third sale-reporting phase on July 15, 2017.

The F3 Fish-free feed prize is intended to spark innovation in the aquafeed industry to find viable, cost-competitive aquafeeds free of fishmeal and fish oils. Sustainable alternative protein sources can reduce pressure on ocean ecosystems to supply aquaculture fishfeed components and help meet global food security needs in the future.

The F3 (Fish-Free Feed) Challenge launched in Nov. 2015 on the HeroX crowdfunding site to encourage innovation of alternative ingredients for aquaculture fishfeeds that are as nutritious and healthy to fish and consumers as conventional fish-based feeds.

HeroX is a parallel initiative to the well-known XPRIZE contests aimed at solving some of the world’s major challenges through prize money. Previous contests have tackled space flight, ocean acidification and more.

All sales reported to date are unverified. F3 challenge judges will verify that all feed sold are “fish-free” per the contest rules. Indonesian company JAPFA Feeds decided to become a participant rather than a contestant of the F3 Challenge, therefore no sales for the company are being reported.

The fish-free feed innovation race is on!

Who do you think will win?

Cast your vote at: https://goo.gl/Tp2qlg

Read more HERE

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