Maximum limits for essential minerals in animal feeds have been established by the European Union to protect animal welfare, consumer- and user safety and to reduce environmental impact. Nearly all (97%) fish feeds used in Norway today exceed the current national and EU feed regulations on total selenium (Se) in fish feed (0.5 mg/kg feed). Selenium is an essential element important for anti-oxidant function and is thought to have a protective role against physical stress. The natural source of selenium in salmon feeds is the relatively high inclusion level of fish meals compared to for example chicken feed. The future use of alternative feed ingredients of terrestrial origin will reduce the level of the marine based Se and hence require a Se fortification to the natural levels found in marine ingredients to guarantee a strong and robust farmed Atlantic salmon. The current upper limit of Se in fish feeds limits the replacement of marine proteins with alternative terrestrial proteins that have natural lower levels of Se while maintaining Se levels in fish feeds.
This project aims to provide knowledge on the upper limits for Se in Atlantic salmon feed for use in risk assessments on selenium in fish.
- Establish methods for selenium speciation in salmon feeds and Atlantic salmon fillet.
- Establish Se feed-to-fillet carry-over models.
- Establish threshold adverse effect levels for Se in Atlantic salmon feeds.
- Generate knowledge for risk assessment which may form the basis for recommendations on the current maximum level of Se in Atlantic salmon feeds.