Since 2010 Marinus’ work at Wageningen University has focused on the search for alternative protein sources for animal foods, improving the phosphorus and nitrogen efficacy of pigs and poultry, boosting bird welfare and stimulating immune competence through nutrition. He has worked in research at the university since 1999 and previously as a nutritionist specialising in pigs and poultry for a specialised feed company. He has an MSc and PhD in animal nutrition from Wageningen.
The requirement for protein rich animal feed is expected to increase dramatically over the next few decades and it seems unlikely that the global supply of soybeans, a much relied upon protein source today, will be able to keep pace with demand. As the search for protein alternatives hots up, Marinus’ presentation examines the potential for seaweed to at least partially replace soybeans in pig and poultry feed. There’s still a good deal of work to be done; seaweed is highly variable depending on species, location and harvesting season and its high mineral and metal content require investigation. However, its potential is clear and, says Marinus, deserving of the industry’s attention.