Krill research - a venture into the unknown

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By Dr. Nils Hoem - Chief Scientist, February 06, 2018


At the heart of Aker BioMarine’s business, in one way or another, scientific research, development and guidance touch the entire value chain, from catch to product.


Vital to harvesting, production and aftermarket Aker BioMarine’s science and innovation group is also essential to the continued success of the krill oil industry itself.


When it comes to the science of krill and phospholipids, the numerous potential benefits and just how they’re utilized by animals and humans alike, Aker BioMarine leads the way when it comes to research. Despite the challenges, risks and potential disappointments, we wouldn’t have it any other way. 


People in product development may not approve of this, but research is characterized by not knowing if you will succeed. Research is always a venture into the unknown and you may be dearly disappointed by your results. In product development on the other hand, done right you should know when you start that you can succeed.




Working on both simultaneously, the product development side will of course see further refinement of Aker BioMarine’s existing product lines.


For example, work on optimizing the effect of krill meal has on farmed salmon and shrimp is one particular area. In collaboration with customers, our research team is looking at how to better utilize the aquaculture part of the business, documenting the effects of our feed, of in realistic blends and in real world situations.


Read more: Why wiring innovation and entrepreneurship into our DNA matters


Journey into the unknown

However, it’s the numerous research projects and those journeys into the unknown which excite me most. With multiple research projects running at once in different phases of completion, doing research in our field is like riding a tiger.


Just the sheer range of research projects our team at Aker BioMarine is currently involved in, either directly or through association with the wider scientific community around the world, is very stimulating.  


Read more: Aker BioMarine invites Open Innovation partners


Understanding the details

Exploring the effects omega-3 phospholipids can have on human body, along with researching the importance of DHA to cognitive function, we are continuing to build up the body of knowledge on the fundamentals of krill oil.


We are doing a fair amount of what I would call basic research, to try and understand the uptake and distribution of our product and the distinctions between regular omega-3 fish oil and krill. We need to define and also understand our uniqueness, and document the differences.


You need to be both respected, and accepted, our strategy is not to be at war with our competitors, we’re trying to carve out our own space. We need to be known as people doing decent work, this is the same as our approach to the fisheries where we are seen as serious and trustworthy.


We are active in engaging with customers, the people who use the products and the scientific community, our science and innovation group is focused on helping to enrich the omega-3 industry and raise the awareness of phospholipids.    


Read more: Watch the phospholipid advantage of krill oil in action

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