OptiPhos Improves Aquafeed Utilisation And Environmental Sustainability

reading time
Article | 01.03.2024
Daniel Arana

Fish meal is recognised as a source of high-quality protein in aquaculture. However, there are some challenges with its utilisation due to price and availability. To reduce the costs of aquatic animal feed, fish meal is increasingly being replaced by plant protein raw materials which are inexpensive and widely available. 

Large amounts of organic phosphorus (P) bound in phytic acid is present in modern day salmon and trout diets, but this is poorly utilised. This represents an opportunity to use the phytase enzyme OptiPhos to help reduce the environmental impact of the salmonid industry.

Fish feed diets today contain high levels of vegetable protein sources (as a replacement for more expensive fish meal) resulting in high levels of phytate in the feed. Phytase hydrolyses the phytate (phytic acid) and releases bound P, allowing significant financial savings by reducing the amount of inorganic P used. Additionally, the excretion of P into the environment is also significantly reduced. 

Trials conducted in rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) demonstrate that P levels in feed can be reduced significantly (range 2.5 - 3.5 g/kg) and that in some cases, added inorganic P sources could be eliminated completely. 

There are also financial benefits in implementing an OptiPhos strategy. Increasing digestible energy (DE) levels in salmonid feeds has a significant impact on space in formulations. Competition for space can add significantly to formulation costs so any opportunity to optimise space can provide a cost benefit.

OptiPhos, by reducing the need for P supplementation, can offer formulation cost savings of up to €15/metric tonne, a win economically and for environmental sustainability. This excludes any opportunity the farmer may have to increase production volumes and make better use of production biomass consents which could be significant.

Figures 1 and 2 show the positive impact of OptiPhos on P retention and excretion in different trials with Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout. 


Figure 1. Atlantic salmon P retention, excretion and reduction versus a control diet using OptiPhos at 500 and 750 OTU/kg feed


Figure 2. Rainbow trout P retention, excretion and reduction versus a control diet using OptiPhos at 500 and 750 OTU/kg feed



Results presented in these studies clearly show:

  • OptiPhos at 500-750 OTU/kg feed significantly reduces P discharge to the environment in trout and salmon production systems
  • OptiPhos can significantly reduce the use of inorganic P in salmonid feeds
  • OptiPhos helps to minimise the environmental impact of salmonid aquaculture


global presence

Local support from a global company

Huvepharma® has a distribution network which covers more than 90 countries in 6 continents. Find your nearest Huvepharma® representative today.
Find your local contact
about us


Huvepharma® is a fast-growing, global pharmaceutical company with a focus on developing, manufacturing and marketing human and animal health and nutrition products.
more about us

Change country

The Huvepharma® distribution network covers 90 countries in 6 continents. Please select a country from the list below to see the products and services available in that region.

To view all products and services, select Global from the dropdown menu or click .




North America


South America

Change language

Huvepharma has a remarkable distribution network which covers 90 countries in 6 continents. To offer you the best services, we ask you to select your country.


United States

Click here to visit the local website or close this popup to stay on the global website.

Your browser is out of date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now