Wisconsin-based Superior Fresh is the first commercial aquaponics company in the US to produce Atlantic salmon. They are producing Atlantic salmon by a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) and organic vegetables. Steven Summerfelt, Chief Science Officer at Superior Fresh shares with us some of his experience and insights.
Can you tell us more about Superior Fresh’s farming practices?
Our farm applies the best welfare practices in all stages of salmon production. Such practices allow Superior Fresh to grow the healthiest salmon that are certified non-GMO by A Greener World. In addition, Superior Fresh salmon are never fed antibiotics or pesticides, nor treated with formalin. Meanwhile, the water treatment systems at Superior Fresh continuously clean and recirculate water so that it is never discharged to surface water and to allow the nutrients that accumulate – such as nitrogen and phosphorus – to be used as inputs in our hydroponic greenhouses to grow USDA certified-organic leafy greens.
How do you manage the feeding of your salmon?
Although there are currently no USDA organic standards for seafood, Superior Fresh focuses on using what many consider to be organic methods, such as focusing on using natural feed ingredients that are limited to fish oil, fishmeal, and wheat or barley. Superior Fresh Atlantic salmon are fed an organic certified salmon diet from Canada.
How about the salmon color? Superior Fresh salmon fillets look terrific. How do you manage this key quality parameter in a natural way?
Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant and carotenoid that is found in a variety of natural sources, including microalgae, yeast, and certain types of seafood such as wild salmon. Astaxanthin can be chemically synthesized or produced naturally by microalgae and other micro-organisms. Most farmed Atlantic salmon are fed synthetic astaxanthin. However, Superior Fresh only uses salmon feeds that contain natural sources of Astaxanthin from Panaferd®-AX.