US scientists develop tilapia feed using marine microalgae co-product

[USA] Scientists in Dartmouth, New Hampshire, US, claim to have created a more sustainable feed for aquaculture by using a marine microalga co-product as a feed ingredient.

The study is the first of its kind to evaluate replacing fishmeal with a co-product in feed designed specifically for Nile tilapia.

The Dartmouth team has been developing sustainable feeds for Nile tilapia, examining the effectiveness of replacing fishmeal and fish oil with different types of marine microalgae. The feed developed replaces fishmeal with a marine microalgae co-product, Nannochloropsis oculata, which is rich in both protein and omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid.

The co-products are leftover algae meal after the oils have been extracted from commercially-grown algae biomass to manufacture nutraceuticals, chemicals, and fuel applications. The co-product is available at a commercial scale and continued increases in supply are expected.

“The results demonstrated that the co-product had higher protein content than the whole cells but had a lower digestibility than whole cells. The co-product showed the highest digestibility of lysine, an essential amino acid that is often deficient in terrestrial crop-based aquafeed ingredients, as well as the highest eicosapentaenoic acid digestibility.”

The scientists claim their study shows promise in replacing conventional protein ingredients in tilapia feeds.


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