Food Innovation Institute

Polychaete protein makes trout taste better

This study, in cooperation with the Food Innovation Institute, looks at fresh trout fed with different formulations of polychaete worms to see how the protein influences the taste.

Farmed polychaetes by ProChaete | functional protein | policies


The aquaculture industry traditionally depends on fishmeal as a protein source. However, due to overexploitation and the imperative for sustainability, the industry needs to explore alternative protein sources. Plant-based alternatives, such as soy, often do not match the performance of fishmeal.

Study design

The study aimed to benchmark four trout samples; no fishmeal or polychaetes, only fishmeal, fishmeal and polychaetes and only polychaetes. Fourteen trained panellists, consumers of salmon, evaluated the samples based on aroma, appearance, texture, flavor, aftertaste, and overall liking, using a 0 to 10 scale.


The hedonic score ranking revealed that only polychaetes, outperformed others, followed by fishmeal and polychaetes, only fishmeal and no fishmeal or polychaetes. No sample scored below 5, indicating overall acceptance.

Consumer Preferences

Panellists overwhelmingly preferred only polychaetes for its pleasant flavor, aftertaste, and overall palatability. Fishmeal and polychaetes, ranked second, while no fishmeal or polychaetes, was the least preferred due to issues with aroma and appearance.

The most liked fresh trout sample chosen by % of the panellists


The study concludes that incorporating polychaete protein into trout feed significantly enhances taste and overall liking, with only polychaetes emerging as the top choice.

This research highlights how our innovative products can transform aquafeed, offering more sustainable and flavorful choices to meet the increasing demand in the aquaculture industry.