March | April 2010 Feature title: Protein sources - Alternative protein sources should also show functionality if they
are to play a role in modern aquafeeds
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The International magazine for the aquaculture feed industry
the EU noted that mycotoxins accounted for 56 percent of border rejections when identified by risk. This concern may become increasingly important in aquafeed formulations in the future. A number of production techniques and specific products are used to help reduce the effect of anti-nutritional substances and "The primary defence mechanism of a fish can be considered to be the physical mycotoxins in terrestrial animal barrier (skin, gills and gastrointestinal tract). Both externally and internally, therefore, production, but these are not the mucosal barrier and tissue cellular membrane integrity play a vital role" widely used in the aquaculture sector at this time. Studies using enzymes and mycotoxin adsorbents are being carried out to find alternaare a source of dietary nucleotides, which Fermentation technologies may be used tives to overcome these limitations. have been shown to promote growth and to produce sustainable sources of singleenhance non-specific immune activity. They celled proteins: algae and yeast being two are also low in phosphorous, which can lead examples. Single-celled proteins to less water and environmental contaminaYeast based proteins have been the most Single-celled proteins such as microtion than fishmeal and other plant based thoroughly investigated as protein sources algae, bacteria and yeast are now being alternative protein sources that contain and as a dietary replacement for fishmeal considered as attractive alternatives to high levels of this mineral. because they are a rich source of protein, the more traditional plant protein sources. The processing and extraction techwith a relatively good balance of essential Many of these have been incorporated into nologies of both cell wall material and yeast amino acids. They contain B complex vitaaquafeed with differing degrees of success extract are critical in providing functionmins, pigments, complex carbohydrates and (Oliva-Teles and Goncalves, 2001).
by Keith Filer Ph.D, research Manager, Asia-Pacific biosciences Centre, Alltech, inc.
Alternative protein sources should also show functionality if they are to play a role in modern aquafeeds
he aquaculture industry today faces a number of challenges that threaten to restrict its development and profitability. To live in harmony with consumer expectations of the highest possible standards of product quality and to do so in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner necessitates an innovative, coordinated and holistic approach within the aquaculture industry. The requirement for sustainability has focused on the composition of the feed being used as one of the key parameters determining the sustainability of production of a particular species, particularly the fishmeal and fish oil content and how it relates to overall feed conversion ratios.
Further formulation trends are moving towards low fishmeal and oil content in the grower feeds and finishing feeds designed to restore flesh quality parameters such as omega 3 fats, and fillet quality that are considered essential for the promotion of the product and its benefits for human health. This strategy addresses to some extent the limited resources of fishmeal and fish oil.
meeting the nutritional requirement of the animal being cultured.
Alternative vegetable protein sources
Over the last two decades aquaculture research has focused on plant protein sources such as grains, pulses and oilseeds as they are generally widely available. However, the use of soybean meal and other plant based protein sources such as legume seeds, oilseed cakes, leaf meals, leaf protein concentrates and root tuber meals have been limited due to the presence of a wide variety of anti-nutritional substances in these products and their interaction with the physiology of the animal resulting in depressed growth and feed efficiency, mortality and abnormal intestinal morphology and damage. These substances act in different ways: by affecting protein utilisation and digestion (e.g. protease inhibitors, tannins, lectins) by affecting mineral utilisation (e.g. phytate, gossypol pigments, glucosinolates) antivitamins and other miscellaneous substances (e.g. phytoestrogens). The increasing use of plant protein sources is also raising new concerns about possible contamination by mould derived mycotoxins. This risk is enhanced by the global nature and trading of plant protein sources and the as yet little investigated impact of different mycotoxins and their interactions in aquaculture species. In 2008, the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed in
Expectations of sustainability
The only way to achieve the expectations of sustainability and replace or supplement fishmeal and fish oil in aquafeeds is to exploit alternative protein and lipid sources. The obvious and traditionally used alternatives are animal and plant protein sources. However, in Europe, and now increasingly in North America, consumers prefer aquaculture products to have been fed without the use of animal by-products due in part to recent health scares in the terrestrial animal sector such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The search is on, therefore, for not only the simple replacement of protein, but the provision of functional nutrition addressing both the Figure 1: A comparison of typical essential amino acid sustainability and flesh (EAA) requirements for fish and the EAA profile of AquateTM quality requirements of the industry while
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have a requirement for a well-balanced mixture of essential and non-essential amino acids from which to construct their own protein tissues and, therefore, the balance of essential amino acids in the diet is crucial. Aquate is a rich source of highly digestible amino acids with a crude protein content of approximately 47 percent. The amino acid profile of Aquate closely matches the requirement for fish (Figure 1) and contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) at approximately 33.8 percent of its fat content. Furthermore, its nucleotide content provides functional nutrients that are present in the yeast extract component. Nucleotides are known to play a major role in almost all biological processes and this includes: storage of energy, components of several coenzymes which are involved in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, mediation in cellular processes, control of several enzymatic reactions and intermediates in biosynthetic reactions. Aquate’s level of nucleotides ranges from five percent to as much as 15 percent in the specialised AquateTM Junior product. Aquate Junior has been designed for juvenile stages of aquaculture species, where a rich source of nucleotides are especially important for immunity and gut health. The Aquate family has been designed to provide functionality in aquafeeds to meet the specific requirements of a particular aquaculture sector or species. AquateTM SPMP also contains the specific yeast cell wall component Bio-Mos®, which has been used to provide an effective feed component in the fight to control sea lice in salmonid culture. Combinations of functional nutrition in this manner has resulted in improvements in gut morphology, nutrient uptake, improved immuno-competence and disease resistance.
by the presence of retained in the fish flesh so indicating more bioactive substances effective treatment. and the epidermal The combined effect of SPMP and migration of inflamimproved operational practises resulted matory cells and in reduced Chalimi resettlement followtheir secretions, may ing treatment, which was attributed to affect the establishincreased mucal production (Figure 5) and a ment and proliferageneral overall lower level of pressure from tion of ectoparasitic all stages of total mobile lice. copepods, ciliates or Marine Harvest concluded that the Loch monogenean (Jones, Sunart trials indicated that Figure 3: Typical skin mucus development on salmon fed 2001). • The SPMP diet produced more epiAquateTM SPMP in Scotland (Wallace et al, 2009). Work at GIFAS dermal mucus than the control diet. monitored sea • The SPMP diets promoted better gut lice development on juvenile salmon and integrity, which allowed better uptake TM showed that after a seven week period of of SLICE® into the flesh of fish. Aquate SPMP and feeding the total sea lice counts showed • Using SPMP to enhance emamectin Atlantic salmon that fish fed with the addition of Bio-Mos uptake was environmentally positive. The primary defence mechanism of a had significantly lower overall numbers of • Using SPMP to encourage epidermal fish, exposed to an infectious or damaging sea lice present compared with the fish mucus curbed Chalimi resettlement in agent, can be considered to be the physical fed the control diet. In addition, the total comparison with control populations. barrier (skin, gills and gastrointestinal tract) number of individual salmon infected by • SPMP can be incorporated into the and their protection mechanisms, at the sea lice (irrespective of species, life stage diet at the initial stage of food producpoint of interaction of the environment and or sex) was significantly reduced by the tion, thus eliminating an additional the physiology of the fish. Both externally Bio-Mos supplementation (Table 1). cost for top coating. and internally, therefore, the mucosal barIn the United Kingdom, the aim of the In Norway, Salmon Group, following rier and tissue cellular membrane integrity National Sea Lice Strategy is to extend the industrial trials using SPMP, concluded that play a vital role in this process. lice free period In sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), mucosal and reduce production increases when Bio-Mos is fed the frequency as indicated by the significant increase of therapeutic (P<0.05) in the number of cells secreting intervention. acid mucin in the posterior gut (Figure 2). M a r i n e The quantity of lysozyme in the mucus was Harvest samalso increased. pled fish muscle In commercial field studies carried out A new generation of omega-3 lipids for emamectin by Marine Harvest in 2008 (Wallace et al, with a broader spectrum of health benzoate 2009) salmon fed on Aquate SPMP showed bene ts. (EmB) in fish increased skin mucous secretion (Figure 3). fed Aquate This increased skin mucosa was character- High DHA contents, preferably in SPMP and the ised in the field by noticeably more slimy easily digestible and highly bio control diets fish and was also widely reported by site immediately managers from Salmon Group in Norway. available form for aquaculture use. after the end The role of mucus in anti-parasitic - Numerous bene ts on improving of medication mechanisms in fish is not well underthe immune response, better with SLICE®. stood. Buchmann and Bresciani (1998) demonstrated that mucus, as measured Noticeably weight gain and physical by the density of mucous cells, could higher levels of conditions of land animals. play a role in limiting the parasite load the medicinal of monogeans in rainbow trout. Other residue were authors have shown that monogenean found in the and crustacean ectoparasites can modufish fed Aquate late mucus production during attachSPMP (Figure ment by reducing the mucous cells in 4). This is the skin of the host (Wells & Cone 1990, important enviNolan et al 1999). ronmentally as Recent studies, however, have begun to less emamecFiskerihavnsgade 35 Phone +45 79120999 clarify the relative roles of the immune system tin benzoate P.O. Box 359 Fax +45 79120888 in fighting parasitic infections in fish. It has is voided in 6701 Esbjerg E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org been suggested that the physico-chemical the faeces Denmark Web www.999.dk characteristics of skin mucus as determined and more is
Figure 2: Mucal production increases with the addition of Bio-Mos® (Torrecillas et al, 2008).
ality and optimising nutritional potential by ensuring a high degree of digestibility. Industrial spray drying techniques have played a significant role in improving these characteristics. Microalgae are rich sources of protein, carbohydrates and lipids. The amino acid profile of almost all algae compares favourably to other food protein sources and the carbohydrate components are highly digestible. However, it is the lipid content that is especially interesting because of the functionality of this component, particularly so in some species rich in n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. Today, commercial microalgae production is used to produce algal biomass for direct use as feed additives in the food
and feed industry or for the extraction of high-valued components such as vitamins (C & D2), n-fatty acids, pigments and antioxidants (B carotene, astaxanthin, lutein). Through the careful formulation and blending of algal and yeast components Alltech has produced the AquateTM range of products designed to provide nutritional solutions for the aquaculture industry. Aquate is the commercial name for a second generation of sustainable product solutions aimed at enhancing biomass production, feed efficiency and boosting natural defence mechanisms in aquaculture species so encouraging healthier and more robust populations. Aquaculture species, like other animals,
Table 1: the number of sea lice found to be present on sampled juvenile salmon.
1 2 3 4 AVERAGE 1 2
3 4 AVERAGE T-TEST
Mature females Preadult Chalimus Caligus TOTAL
1 14 22 17 54
2 32 4 14 52
0 24 8 14 46
1 53 26 5 85
1 30.75 15 12.5 59.25
0 29 8 8 45
0 24 8 14 46
1 15 14 7 37
1 20 7 5 34
0.5 22 9.25 8.5 40.5
0.178 0.179 0.170 0.140 0.044
14 | InternatIonal AquAFeed | March-april 2010
March-april 2010 | InternatIonal AquAFeed | 15
999_AD_IAF0904V3.indd 1 22/06/2009 14:01
canadum), Chou et al, 2004 reported that a 40 percent replacement of fishmeal with soybean meal did not have a negative effect on growth performance, but that at higher replacement rates growth performance decreased. A recent trial at Virginia Cobia Farms in Saltville, Virginia, USA investigated the potenFigure 4: EmB residues in the SPMP study in Loch Sunart tial of Aquate inclusion (Wallace et al, 2009). (30 percent of the dry diet) to replace fishmeal and fish oil for the marine carnivore cobia Racyhycentron canadum. The high level of replacement of fishmeal was designed to capitalise on the DHA content of Aquate and investigate if it could not only satisfy the essential fatty acid requirements of juvenile cobia, but also provide Figure 5: Average Chalimi levels from SPMP fed fish adequate n-3 HUFA in versus controls, Loch Sunart. (Wallace et al, 2009) the final product for human consumers. A commercial diet regularly used for cobia production was used as the control diet and a "Single-celled protein sources have the second experimental diet high in soy product potential to become a renewable source inclusion (>55 percent of functional nutrition providing both of the dry diet) was also included. At the end alternatives to fishmeal and fish oil" of the feeding trial, the fish were harvested and utilized for test marketing purposes in which • 4/5 farms reported better general chefs, distributors and others compared health status in the SPMP fed fish. the cobia fed the experimental diets in • 4/5 farms reported less lice treatterms of taste, texture, physical and visual ments in the trial fish. preferences. • All farms reported that the fish The trial showed that Aquate could be appeared to be very slimy. used as a partial provider of essential n-3 HUFA in marine fish diets and that the inclusion of Aquate Aquate trial with cobia appeared to impart beneficial In omnivores and herbivorous species, taste and texture characteristics such as catfish or tilapia, high replacement to the final product with 83 levels (>40 percent) of fishmeal can be percent of the test panel prefertolerated provided that the amino acid ring the Aquate fed fish to that of requirement of the fish species is met the high soy inclusion diet. This, from other sources. However, in the carcombined with an improved feed nivorous fish species cobia (Racyhycentron
04/01/2008 18/01/2008 01/02/2008 15/02/2008 29/02/2008 14/03/2008 28/03/2008 11/04/2008 25/04/2008 09/05/2008 23/05/2008
conversion ratio, led Virginia Cobia Farms to consider the inclusion of Aquate in their proprietary cobia grow-out formulations.
in the Family
Alltech® has developed a range of products to address dietary requirements at different stages of life in aquaculture species. These sustainable product solutions are proven to support profitability in aquaculture operations as well as performance in fish and shrimp.
Single-celled protein sources have the potential to become a renewable source of functional nutrition providing both alternatives to fishmeal and fish oil.
Buchmann K & Bresciani J (1998). Microenvironment of Gyrodactylus derjavini on rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss: association between mucous cell density on skin and site selection. Parisitology Research 84, 17-24. Chou RL, Her BY, Su MS, Hwang G, Wu YH & Chen HY (2004). Substituting fishmeal with soybean meal in diets of juvenile cobia Rachycentron canadum. Aquaculture 229, 325333. Jones SRM (2001). The occurrence and mechanisms of innate immunity against parasites in fish. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 25, 841-852. Nolan DT, Reilly P & Wendelaar Bonga SE (1999). Infection with low numbers of sea louse Lepeoptheirus salmonis induces stress-related effects in post smolt Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Can J. Fish Aquatic Sci. 56, 947-959. Oliva-Teles, A. & P. Goncalves. 2001. Partial replacement of fishmeal by brewers yeast (Saccaromyces cerevisiae) in diets for sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) juveniles. Aquaculture 202, 269-278. Torrecillas S, Makol A., Caballero M.J, Montero D, Sweetman J & Izquierdo M.S (2008). Enhanced nutrient utilization and bacterial infection resistance in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) fed mannan oligosaccharides. Poster presented at XIII ISFNF Meeting, Brazil 1-5 June. Wallace C, Waddell R, Cockerill D & Ritchie G (2009). Double mucal effect boosts sea lice control and potentially extends useful life of medications. Fish Farming Xpert, No 1/09, 48-53. Wells PR, & Cone DK (1990). Experimental studies on the effect of Gyrodactylus colemanensis and G. salmonis on density of mucous cells in the epidermis of fry of Oncorhynchus mykiss. J. Fish Biol. 37, 599-603.
Ideally suited for fish and shrimp in any stage of life to maintain performance and to support independence from traditional aquaculture diet ingredients.
Specifically designed for the juvenile stages of life in fish and shrimp to support good health, uniform growth and survival.
A natural, affordable product created for salmon in all life stages to maintain good health and defense mechanisms against adverse aquatic elements present in the surrounding environment. Give your fish and shrimp the Alltech Aqua Advantage. Contact your Alltech representative today for more information.
Keith Filer Ph.D Research Manager Asia-Pacific Biosciences Centre Alltech, Inc. Email: email@example.com
16 | InternatIonal AquAFeed | March-april 2010
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