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Feature heading: Essential Oils
Feature title: The benefits of oregano essential oil for aquaculture production
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Essential Oil Essential Oil
Oregano essential oil, with its renowned profit of €8.60 in return on
antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, top of usual profits, due to
is a good potential alternative to growth the additional increase in

The benefits of promoters in this respect. liveweight gain.
Jintasataporn et al.

oregano essential oil
Time to go natural (2007a) conducted a
Meriden Animal Health Limited (UK) 12-week trial using
produces a unique feed additive called Orego-Stim® Aquatract,
Orego-Stim® Aquatract, which contains demonstrating its positive

for aquaculture production oregano essential oil.
Various studies have shown that Orego-
effects on the growth per-
formance of hybrid catfish
Stim® Aquatract can improve growth per- (Clarias macrocephalus x
formance and feed conversion efficiency, Clarias gariepinus). Results
Figure 2: Growth performance: Average weight
while greatly reducing the occurrence of showed that fish fed with gain (g) of rainbow trout (Source: Meriden Animal
disease. This ultimately leads to an increase Orego-Stim® Aquatract Health Ltd. Research & Technical Report, 2007)
in profitability compared to conventional had a higher body weight
aquaculture rearing systems. compared to both posi-
The matrix of active components of tive and negative control
pure oregano essential oil found in Orego- groups, with a significant
Stim® Aquatract have been shown to be increase in body weight by
highly effective against both gram-positive 10.7% and 11.7% respec-
and gram-negative pathogenic bacteria tively (see Figure 4).
(Stiles et al., 1995; Sivropoulou et al., 1996) A more efficient feed
by Justin Tan Yu-Wen, DVM but has little or no effect on beneficial conversion ratio was also
bacteria that make up the majority of the observed in the Orego-
intestinal microbiota (Di Pasqua et al., 2005; Stim® Aquatract group,
Jintasataporn et al., 2007). which was 6.38% and
Oregano essential oil was compared with 4.96% lower than both

many other known botanical essential oils positive and negative con-
he use of phytobiotic The passing of the stances that showed promise and offered
and its antibacterial properties were tested trol groups respectively
feed additives in aqua- era of AGPs potential as replacements.
against three common species of pathogenic (see Figure 5).”
Figure 3: Growth performance: Feed conversion ratio of
culture has gained a Antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) The intestinal microbiota of aqua species rainbow trout (Source: Meriden Animal Health Ltd. Research
steady increase since should not be ignored in relation to their bacteria. In this study, oregano essential oil Orego-Stim® & Technical Report, 2007)
have played a fundamental role in aqua-
restrictions were implemented performance. was found to be the most effective in the Aquatract also revealed
culture production throughout the last
on the use of in-feed antibiotic Although fin-fish and shrimp have only inhibition of these pathogens (see Figure 1). contrasting antimicrobial
50 years. These are thought to act on the
growth promoters in the livestock marginal nutritional benefits from intestinal activity against pathogenic
intestinal microbiota, leading to improved
industry. microbiota compared to other terricolous The use of Orego- and beneficial bacteria
animal growth and performance.
animals such as ruminant and non-ruminant Stim® Aquatract in (Jintasataporn et al.,
However, we have seen a trend in the
Due to increasing demand for high herbivores, the microbiota can adversely fin-fish production 2007a). Contrary to a
last decade, where an extensive search
quality protein sources, we have witnessed affect the resilience of the host if not A commercial trial was conducted by a common misconception
for alternatives to these feed additives has
a rapid growth of the fin-fish and shrimp properly controlled. It has now become reputable international aquafeed producer that Orego-Stim® may
taken place. This paradigm shift is chiefly
farming industries, where typical production evident that controlling the microbiota from Denmark that produces rainbow also inhibit the growth
due to public concerns related to their
involves high-density stocking rates at both could positively influence growth rates and trout feed. of beneficial bacteria, this
residues in meat and the subsequent occur-
hatchery and grow-out stages. immune status. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) study proved otherwise.
rence of anti-
Due to its highly intensive nature, were fed with either standard control feed The following results Figure 4: Growth performance: Weight (g/fish) (Source:
biotic-resistant Jintasataporn et al., 2007a)
fin-fish and shrimp farming today are or a similar feed containing Orego-Stim® show that Orego-Stim®
bacteria. Feed
plagued by diseases affecting productiv- Aquatract at 550ppm. The length of the Aquatract was able to
additive manu-
ity and survival rates. Various strategies trial was 49 days and the fish were reared increase the numbers of
facturers and
have been devised and implemented to in a Danish trout farm using a flow-through lactic acid producing bac-
feed producers
improve growth rates while preventing system, with water temperatures of 9.4°C. teria such as Lactobacillus
have invested
and controlling incidences of disease and Results revealed that trout fed with feed spp. in the gastrointesti-
a considerable
pathogen levels. containing Orego-Stim® Aquatract showed nal microbiota by up to
amount of time,
Besides the development of new vac- improvements in average weight gain by 62.5% compared to the
money and
cines and improved water management 9.4 percent (see Figure 2), total weight gain negative control group,
resources to
techniques, the use of feed additives such by 14.9 percent and feed efficiency by 3.2 whilst reducing popula-
investigate and
as phytobiotics and essential oils are Figure 1: Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations of various percent (see Figure 3). tions of pathogens such
conduct exten-
now widely accepted for their ability to botanical essential oils against 3 types of common This ultimately resulted in a Return-On- as Aeromonas spp., a bac-
sive research on microorganisms (Source: Hammer et al., 1999)
improve growth rates through notable Investment (ROI) ratio of 8.6 : 1, which meant terial species that com-
various ingre-
beneficial effects on intestinal health. that for every €1 they spent on Orego- monly affects freshwater Figure 5: Growth performance: Feed Conversion
dients and sub-
Stim® Aquatract, they gained an additional fish (see Figure 6). Ratio (Source: Jintasataporn et al., 2007a)

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Essential Oil Essential Oil
The use of shrimp. The shrimps were subjected to essential oils from Mediterranean 1996, J. Agrc. Food Chem., Vol. 44, pp. 1202-
Orego-Stim® virulent Vibrio harveyi challenge after Apiaceae, Verbenaceae and 1205.
Lamiaceae against foodborne
Aquatract in the initial three-month growth promo- Stiles, J.C., Sparks, W. & Ronzio, R. A., 1995, J.
pathogens and spoilage bacteria,’
shrimp production tion trial.
Annals of Microbiol., Vol. 55(2),
Appl. Nutr., Vol. 47, pp. 96-102.
Improvements in feed Results showed that Orego-Stim®
pp. 139-143. Strand, M.R., 2008, ‘The insect cellular innate
conversion efficiency and Aquatract had a protective effect on
response’. Insect Science, Vol. 15, pp. 1-14.
survival rates were also the shrimp, resulting in a significantly Hammer, K.A.,
lower mortality rate of 36.67 percent Carson, C.F. &
reported in shrimps.
in comparison with the negative control Riley, T.V., 1999,
A four-month com-
mercial trial conducted group and the enrofloxacin group, which
activity of
in Ecuador demonstrated had mortality rates of 56.67 percent and
essential oils
improvements in feed 53.33 percent respectively (see Figure Figure 10: Shrimp immunity: Mortality rate upon and other plant
conversion by 19.8 per- 10). disease challenge with Vibrio harveyi (Source:
extracts,’ J.
Figure 6: Effect of Orego-Stim® on Bacterial Count Jintasataporn et al., 2007b)
cent (see Figure 7) and Similar and corresponding to the Appl. Microb.,
(Source: Jintasataporn et al., 2007a)
survival rates by 6.5 aforementioned catfish trial, higher levels Vol. 86, pp.
percent (see Figure 8) of oregano essential oil, albeit being 985-990.
by adding Orego-Stim® a potent antibacterial agent, did not Jin, L.Z. & Lan,
Aquatract to the diet of exert detrimental effects on lactic acid G.Q., 2008, Fin Fish and Shrimp
shrimps, compared to the producing bacteria such as Lactobacillus ‘The research
control group, which were spp. although on the other hand, bacte- application of Improves FCR
fed the same diet but rial load and Vibrio spp. counts were plant extract Increases bodyweight gain
without the inclusion of markedly reduced in the Orego-Stim® feed additives Boosts immunity
Orego-Stim® Aquatract. Aquatract 2000ppm group compared to in swine Increases survival rates
The results clearly indi- the negative control and enrofloxacin production’,
Reduces feed costs
Chinese Swine
cated how Orego-Stim® groups (see Figure 11).
Aquatract could improve This finding clearly explains the Figure 11: Shrimp immunity: Bacterial Count (cfu
= Higher returns
shrimp farming produc- increased survivability rate in shrimps log10/g) (Source: Jintasataporn et. al., 2007b)
Vol. 3.
Figure 7: Shrimp production: Feed Conversion Ratio tion systems compared with the use of the higher inclusion rates
(Source: Merchan, 2005) to conventional rearing of Orego-Stim® Aquatract during critical Jintasataporn,
systems (Merchan, 2005). periods and times of stress and disease activity of whole, unadulterated oregano O., Areechon, N., Ritchai, N. &
essential oil is greater than the additive Tonedial, C., 2007a, ‘The effect
Jintasataporn et al. challenge.
effect of its major antimicrobial com- of Orego-Stim® in Catfish’,
(2007b) also conducted a
Unpublished Data, Kasetsart
three-month trial in white Conclusion ponents (Lattaoui and Tantaoui-Elaraki,
University, Thailand.
shrimps (Litopenaeus van- The use of Orego-Stim® Aquatract 1994).
namei) and discovered has been proven to be effective in It is also crucial to note that commer- Jintasataporn, O., Areechon,
cially available ‘nature identical’ versions N., Ritchai & N., Tonedial, C.,
that by using Orego-Stim® enhancing growth performance, improv-
of oregano essential oil require a degree 2007b, ‘The effect of Orego-
Aquatract at 1000ppm, the ing the immune status and preventing the
of purity of not less than 99.5 percent Stim® in White Shrimp
prophenoloxidase activ- occurrence of diseases in both fin-fish
Litopenaeus vannamei’,
ity was increased by 170 and shrimps. in order to comply with food legislation
Unpublished Data, Kasetsart
percent (or 2.7 times) and However, it must be noted that not (Ariza-Nieto, 2005).
University, Thailand.
69 percent (or 1.7 times) all phytobiotics offer the same ben- Any degree of purity that is less than
this would not be deemed suitable for Lattaoui, N., & A. Tantaoui-
higher than that of the efits or efficacy in terms of results and
Figure 8: Shrimp production: Survivability (%) entry into the human food chain. Elaraki, 1994. ‘Individual and
control and enrofloxacin productivity.
(Source: Merchan, 2005)
groups respectively (see Due to the differences that can be Therefore, it is crucial for nutrition- combined antibacterial activity
of the main constituents of
100% Natural Additive
Figure 9). found in the levels and ratios of active ists and feed producers to consider for inclusion in the feed
three essential oils.’ EPPOS,
The prophenoloxidase- chemical constituents of the many, these facts when choosing from a range
Vol. 3, pp. 13-19.
activating system is a major diverse plant extracts, the variance in of phytobiotic or essential oil feed addi-
tives for improving aquaculture produc- Merchan, R., 2005, ‘Effects
innate defense mechanism bioavailability and bioactivity of these
tion, to ensure compliance with standard of Orego-Stim in Shrimp
of invertebrates and active components may result in differing
Production: Ecuador Study’,
prophenoloxidase activ- performances from those reported (Jin food safety regulations on a global scale.
Unpublished Data, Merchan &
ity is a good indicator of et al., 2008). Fontana Company, Ecuador. Cranfield Innovation Centre, University Way,
shrimp immunity. As there are more than 30 different References: Cranfield Technology Park, Cranfield UK MK43 0BT
Te l: +44 (0)1234 436130
active components that are naturally Meriden Animal Health
Further evaluation Ariza-Nieto, C.J., 2005, ‘Evaluation of Oregano Fax: +44 (0)1234 436131
Limited Research & Technical
was carried out to deter- found in pure oregano essential oil, it is (Origanum vulgare) Essential Oil in Swine Report, 2007, Unpublished Web:
mine the relationship highly likely that these other minor con- Production System’, Doctoral Thesis, University
data, United Kingdom
between the increased stituents play an important role in the Email:
of Minnesota, United States of America.
prophenoloxidase activity efficacy of Orego-Stim® Aquatract, as Sivropoulou, A., Papanikolaou,
Figure 9: Shrimp immunity: Prophenoloxidase Di Pasqua, R., De Feo, V., Villani, F. & Mauriello, E., Nikolaou, C., Kokkini, S.,
Activity (Source: Jintasataporn et al., 2007b) and disease resistance in there is evidence that the antimicrobial
G., 2005. ‘In vitro antimicrobial activity of Lanara, T. & Arsenakis, M.,

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