TARS 2019. Aquafeeds: Fit for Future. August 14-15 2019, Bali, Indonesia. Stay tuned for Program and Speaker updates.
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Aquafeeds: Fit for Future

 August 14-15, 2019      Bali, Indonesia
TARS 2019. Aquafeeds: Fit for Future. August 14-15 2019, Bali, Indonesia. Stay tuned for Program and Speaker updates.

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Alternatives to omega-3 PUFAs in aquafeeds: Addressing rising demand and critical animal health needs

Fuci Guo, Corbion Biotec Inc., Malaysia

The dependence on fishmeal and fish oil in feeding marine shrimp and marine fish is due to the critical role these ingredients play in the growth and health of marine species. These ingredients contain various lipids, cholesterol, triglycerols, phospholipids, long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs and HUFAs), all of which support various important functions in the animal, from providing energy, storing energy, building structural membranes, and regulating metabolism.

Depending on the species, the highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) cannot be synthesized endogenously and require dietary inclusions. A balanced diet should meet the animal’s requirements in terms of these essential fatty acids (EFAs), as well as other lipid components to satisfy animals’ energy and functional requirements etc.

The major source of LC-PUFAs today is fish oil, when we discuss replacement of fish oil in diets for marine species, the focus is around satisfying the requirement for eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). In 2015, it was reported that 73% of the fish oil produced globally was used in aquaculture. The demand for fish oil and DHA/EPA is growing primarily due to our growing appetite for seafood. Alternative supplies of DHA/EPA are urgently needed, however, the availability of DHA/EPA from wild caught fish is essentially flat. Continued availability of fish oil depends on sustainable fishery management policies, productivity of natural systems (which have been impacted by climate), compliance with quotas, and other factors.

Transgenic oilseed crops and oils from marine microalgae are the two most promising options, but each has its pros and cons. Genetically modified (GM) oilseeds can take advantage of the well-developed infrastructure of oilseeds industry for high yield and affordability, but consumer and retailer acceptance, as well as GMO legislation in UK and Europe remain hurdles to overcome. Microalgae is a sustainable, scalable option but historically, high production costs and narrow volumes have limited its use to humans only, especially for infant formula. These barriers have been addressed recently with the use of microalgae DHA (≥28% DHA) in more than 350,000 tonnes of salmon feed in Norway over the past 2 years.

This presentation will discuss the options available for the aquafeed industry and how it needs consistent supply. This will include numerous studies showing how DHA-rich marine microalgae is a successful alternative to fish oil and helps to maintain or improve growth, survivals, and fillet quality. Recently, it was reported by a Taiwanese group that including 2% microalgae Aurantiochytrium (17% DHA) in juvenile grouper diets could reduce blood cortisol and increase brain 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) levels which lead to significant reduction of cannibalism. Another recent study by a Brazilian group showed that DHA from microalgae Aurantiochytrium increased weight gains in L. vannamei with the optimal percentage of fish oil replacement estimated at 49.3%.

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