Research area

Nutrition and feed technology

Since salmon farming started in Norway around 1970, fish feed has undergone rapid development. This progress concerns the production technology, ingredients, knowledge about the fish’s nutritional requirements and feeding.

Fish feed constitutes around 50 percent of the costs in Norwegian aquaculture, and feed of a high quality is necessary on account of the fish and financial considerations.

The feed ensures the necessary supply of energy and nutrients to secure the fish's growth, health and welfare. Further, the feed is important for the product's quality and food safety, and the feed resources that are utilised are decisive for the sustainability of the entire production.

Rapid development
The development in the industry is constantly providing us new challenges with respect to nutrition, feed and feeding. We still have insufficient knowledge about how rapid growth influences the farmed fish's requirement for specific nutrients. Variations in price and access to raw materials results in the need to know which raw materials and amounts thereof can be used for different fish species and at the same time secure growth, feed utilisation, health and the quality of the fish we consume.

Several types of raw materials
Salmon feed was previously based on fishmeal and fish oil. However, these are limited resources, which mean other feedstuffs must be phased in as production increases.

The focus on sustainability and resource utilisation is increasing also within aquaculture, and we are working continually to find good alternative feedstuffs. Increasingly more vegetable feedstuffs are used and waste such as trimmings from the fish processing industry has become an important resource.

Effective utilisation
In comparison with other meat production, aquaculture is already an effective way of utilising resources. If we only consumed plant substances, all nutrition would of course have gone directly to food consumed by human beings. But in modern salmon farming, we yield 30 percent of the feed resources in the form of salmon fillet, which is twice as much as in production of, for example, pork.

Nofima has a goal of developing feed based on an optimal utilisation of existing and alternative feed raw materials.


Relevant news


  • Torbjørn Einar Åsgård

    Director of Research, Nutrition and Feed Technology

    Phone: +47 71 40 01 34

    Cellphone: +47 997 17 743



Research area within Nutrition and feed technology

Feed technology and formulation

Nofima has considerable experience in the research area of feed technology and feed formulation, and develops feed based on optimal utilisation of existing and alternative marine feed raw materials.


The speed of growth of farmed salmon and rainbow trout is steadily increasing owing to progress with breeding, nutrition and project management. Given the increased speed of growth, we need to steadily review the fish’s needs for the various nutrients.


Salmon bone as a feedstuff.

Better utilisation and increased added value of marine feed raw materials and ingredients.

Process and product development, feed

Development and optimisation of processes and products used in foods, functional foods, food supplements, pharmaceutical products, feed and technical areas.

Product stability

During food production, the raw material quality and process are of great importance for to the product’s quality and properties.

Raw materials in fish feed

Fish meal.

Nofima is developing knowledge concerning the optimal use of today’s marine feed raw materials in synergy with relevant vegetable protein sources.