Palatability Drivers in Fish Diets: From Modes of Actions to Applications for Quantifiable Enhanced Feed and Fish Performances

Dr Philippe Sourd, Global Technical and Sales Director, Diana Aqua – Aquativ, France

Prior to any nutritional considerations, feed intake is going to be the very first driver of a diet performance in a fish farm. While aqua feed formulations are entirely focused on meeting the nutritional and physiological requirements of fish and shrimp for performance and economical targets, the best calculations will not deliver results if the diets are not accepted by the animals in the first place. Diet palatability thus remains a crucial criteria.

Taste perception mechanisms in fish differ amongst species. Different palatability enhancers in the market can be benchmarked and there are wide variations of results, depending on raw materials, ingredients composition as well as species. Beside raw materials and ingredient profiles selection, processing is also a major driver of palatability. We can clearly show that different processes of production applied to the same raw material will yield different palatability performances.

It is therefore possible to design specific solutions, which meet the needs of different fish species in terms of feed palatability, by the identification and selection of most adequate raw materials and bioprocess technology.

Successfully deploying fish palatants in diets will also largely depend on the ways they are applied into the feed. Careful consideration must be paid to the formulation and raw materials. The same goes for the mode of application in the feedmill itself. The impact of these has measurable consequences on the performances of the fish in the farm.