Taurine, an amino sulfonic acid, used for:
- Aquafeed: taurine is required in the diets of high-value finfish and improves the health and survival of fish growing in crowded and hypoxic conditions (incl. carp, the world's most-frequently farmed fish)
- Cat food: taurine is required in all cat food and improves heart health in dogs
- Energy drinks: taurine is a key ingredient in the majority of energy drinks
- Cosmetics: taurine is used in shampoos and creams
- Nutraceuticals: taurine is used for cardio-vascular, skeletal muscle and liver health, brain metabolism, and as an antioxidant
Taurine is found in meat and fish but not in plants. Currently the main source of supplemental taurine is chemically synthesized, derived from ethylene oxide (carcinogenic) or ethyleneimine (hazardous air pollutant) and often contains heavy metals (arsenic >2000 ppb in feed grade taurine).
Our EN technology produces low cost, safe, and sustainable sources of taurine
Taurine in EN soybean seeds for aquafeed
The fastest growing food sector is aquaculture. Aquaculture production is expected to soon surpass wild-caught fish. Aquafeed producers have traditionally used wild-caught forage fish to meet the protein demand for aquaculture. This practice is not sustainable. Overfishing the small forage fish population jeopardizes the marine ecosystem and has driven up the price of fishmeal.
Many aquafeed producers are using soymeal to partially replace fishmeal. Soy-based protein is cheaper than fishmeal but it is lacking in taurine, a nutrient critical for most high-value fish. Synthetic taurine can be added to the feed, but it increases production costs and may have environmental and health costs.
We used our Enhanced-Nutrition (EN) technology to produce taurine within soybean seeds. The EN soybean is an economical, healthy, and sustainable source of taurine for the rapidly growing aquaculture industry. Aquafeed producers could reduce their additive feed costs by reducing the need for supplemental taurine when using soymeal made from the EN soybean.
Taurine by fermentation
For other markets, such as nutraceuticals and cosmetics, pure taurine is desired. We have produced taurine by fermentation using a taurine-producing bacterial strain that we developed from our EN technology.