The testing platform, developed by Norway-based Orivo in collaboration with BioMar, is based on advanced DNA-technology. The test determines the species composition of marine ingredients with a high level of precision, able to detect the presence of even very small amounts of DNA. BioMar believes that DNA-testing of marine ingredients in the aquaculture industry is a natural answer to the call from customers and stakeholders for improved transparency and traceability in seafood value chains.
BioMar realized fifteen years ago that the industry could not grow at the expense of wild fish stocks. Since then, it has improved the sustainability profile of their sourced fisheries by supporting science-based certification schemes (IFFO RS, MSC, ASC, etc.) and by developing alternative raw materials, such as vegetable protein and microalgae for marine omega-3s. Supporting the development of DNA-testing of marine ingredients is therefore the next step in BioMar’s commitment to responsible sourcing of marine raw materials.
“Reports of fraud in many of the world’s largest seafood markets highlights the importance of accurate and reliable traceability data throughout the value chain. BioMar will now be able to genetically test whether the species composition in a sample of raw material matches the reported composition on the traceability certificate. BioMar has a great deal of trust in our suppliers and understands that both have a responsibility as stewards of the ocean. As such, we expect this new DNA-based test to play a crucial role in efforts focused on building consumer and stakeholder trust,” said Vidar Gundersen, Sustainability Director, BioMar Group.
After several years of dedicated R&D effort, the system has been thoroughly tested and optimized to produce reliable, accurate and reproducible results. The test will be commercially available from January 1st, 2020.
“To have BioMar, one of the largest and most innovative aquaculture feed producers, join as our first client in this area has been key. We greatly appreciate the patience and faith they have shown during the development and testing stage of the technology. Their long-term commitment to this project is a sign that the service we are now providing is of value to the feed industry, and we hope this is just the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration,” said Orivo CEO Svein Erik Haugmo.
Haugmo also revealed that Orivo is looking to increase its footprint in the feed industry.
“Together with BioMar we have started working on selected feed ingredients, but these represent just a small part of the many industry-specific issues which we think can be solved with our technology. We are currently working very hard on developing tests that can address all of these issues, and we plan to launch these consecutively in the near future as soon as they are ready for the market,” continued Mr Haugmo.
Orivo offers subscription programs with random analysis and mandatory next-level-in-value-chain checkpoints, batch certifications, product verifications (with the possibility of using the verification logo on the label), as well as product screening and benchmarking. All services have special sampling routines solving third party sampling challenges. Eventually there will be a wide range of offers servicing different value chain actors, including retailers and consumers.