MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Aquaculture farmers soon will have access to a plant-based source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids for aquafeed now that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has deregulated Cargill’s proprietary canola for cultivation in the United States, Minneapolis-based Cargill said on Aug. 7.

Aquafeed for farm-raised salmon contains fish oil to help fish reach desired levels of two omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Cargill and BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany, combined technologies to produce Latitude, a plant-based alternative designed to relieve harvesting pressure on the wild fish used to source EPA and DHA for aquafeed.

“This approval means we are on target to deliver Latitude, our sustainable fish oil alternative made from canola oilseeds, to aquaculture farmers and feed manufacturers,” said Mark Christiansen, managing director for Cargill’s specialty oils business. “It represents another key step in creating a global supply chain that can meet a critical environmental challenge.”

Cargill began testing omega-3 fatty acid canola varieties under permit in multiple locations in Montana in 2015. BASF generated the data package and submitted the application for USDA regulatory approval. Now, Cargill will commercialize Latitude in a closed-loop supply chain.

Conventional canola contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), another kind of omega-3 fatty acid, but it does not contain EPA and DHA.