AlgaEurope 2015 Abstract Book
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Read the abstract of 2016 key note speaker Stefan Kraan here!

Macroalgae, opportunities for animal health and global food security, the swine industry as an example

Dr Stefan Kraan

Co-founder and Director of Science and R&D 

kraan oceanharvest
About the author:

Born in The Netherlands he graduated with a M.Sc. degree in Marine Biology at National University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He moved to Ireland to pursue a PhD on phylogenetics and aquaculture of edible seaweeds at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 1998. He became manager of the Irish Seaweed Industry Organisation in 1998 and finished his PhD in 2001. He established the Irish Seaweed Centre in 2001, a dedicated R&D centre for seaweed-based research and development, which was launched in 2001. Dr Kraan raised over 2 million in research funding for applied research projects using seaweed. After managing the seaweed centre for 9 years, Dr Kraan resigned from University life in 2009 to pursue and develop some commercial ideas using seaweeds for a variety of purposes amongst them functional food ingredients for fish and livestock farming and novel algae cultivation systems for biofuel production. Dr Kraan is currently Co-Founder, MD and Scientific Director of Ocean Harvest Technology Ltd, a company that has produced Oceanfeed™, a range of seaweed based functional feed ingredients for the animal and aquaculture farming industries. Dr Kraan is president of the International Seaweed Association. His main fields of expertise are industrial applications of seaweeds/macroalgae and usage of seaweeds in animal feed, aquaculture, biotechnology and biomedicine, aquaculture of seaweeds, sustainable development of algal resources.

About the company/institute: Ocean Harvest Technology ltd Milltown Business Park, Milltown

Ocean Harvest Technology (OHT) is an Irish limited company founded in 2005 by Dr Stefan Kraan, an internationally recognised scientist and expert on seaweed applications and Patrick Martin a 25 year veteran of the global salmon aquaculture industry. Ocean Harvest has recently completed its new R&D and administration headquarters in Galway, Ireland and its new manufacturing, distribution and sales branch in Vietnam. OHT and extended with Ocean Harvest Americas in the USA. OHT has created a variety of patented seaweed based formulas based on the bioactive ingredients present in the different seaweeds that replace the synthetic and other less desirable ingredients found in a variety of agri- and aquacultural feed ingredients. These proven and proprietary formulas represent a breakthrough in the animal rearing and farming sectors, being the first 100% sustainable marine sourced ingredient formulas of their kind. Recent scientific breakthroughs are the discovery of using specific algae that increase the omega 3 levels by 30% and significantly increasing milk protein in dairy cattle. After extensive testing, OHT has created OceanFeed™-salmonids, -shrimp, -swine, -bovine, -sheep –equine and C-pet, which OHT now sells to several global clients in the fish, shrimp and animal rearing industries. In addition to these products, OHT is currently developing products for the human food industry based on specific bioactive ingredients and EFSA-approved health claims. Innovation and development has led to several value-added products for animal health issues. OHT supports its unique formulas with an extremely experienced and successful scientific and technical management team working alongside the founders


With the growing global population and the need for food production, animal production will play a major role in food security. The Swine Industry is still the biggest food producing industry in the world with a modest growth of a 2-3% a year producing well over 100 million tonnes of pork of which half takes place in China. However, the disease issues and environmental pressure has led to an overuse and abuse of growth promotors and antibiotics. This has had detrimental effects for human health as more and more bacteria have become resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Recently the WHO have issued a warning on overuse of antibiotics in animal feed and that a drastic reduction or phasing out of antibiotics in animal feed and in particularly swine feed should take place with immediate effect. Therefore it has become urgent to find alternative sustainable feed ingredients for animal feed to address the antibiotic issues. Macroalgae have been used for many years in animal feed based on their anecdotal health properties. However biochemical composition of these algae has received limited attention; nevertheless several studies have demonstrated that algae can be used to boost immune health and act as growth promotor and antibiotic replacers. Over the last decade scientific evidence has surfaced on the effects of many bioactive compounds in macroalgae and their use for a variety of health applications. Ocean Harvest Technology has developed a specific swine feed ingredient from macroalgae for the swine industry, to replace antibiotics and growth promotors. This presentation will evaluate the use of macroalgae in the swine industry and discuss the company’s results of recent trials in the Philippines, Vietnam, China and USA and the future consequences this may have for the Swine Industry.