Study shows how specific amino acids affect the growth of farmed fish
The effect of plant-based ingredients in aquaculture feeds
The inclusion of plant ingredients in fish diets is increasing and intends to improve the sustainability of aquaculture feeds. Soybean meal is one of these ingredients that has been successfully included in aquafeeds due to its high protein content and relatively well-balanced amino acid profile. However, these diets are limited in the amino acid methionine (an essential amino acid for growth) and require supplementation to fulfil fish nutritional needs.
How methionine sources are absorbed and metabolized and how does it affect the growth of farmed fish? Our researchers Sofia Engrola, Rita Teodósio and Cláudia Aragão in collaboration with Evonik Operations GmbH (Germany) company have developed a metabolic trial to study how methionine supplements, DL-Met and MHA-Ca, fed to tilapia juveniles (Oreochromis niloticus) act on their development.
How do methionine supplements act on fish metabolism?
Throughout the study, fish were fed three times a day for 57 days, where researchers registered feed intake. This study, recently published in the International Aquafeed Magazine, demonstrated that different sources of methionine influence the absorption and metabolism of fish. A comparison between fish diets supplemented with DL-Methionine or MHA-Ca showed that DL-Methionine increased growth performance and protein retention and reduced nitrogen losses.
The long-term results
In the long term and through the contribution of these scientific studies, aquaculture production will benefit from a solid knowledge on fish nutrition. In turn, the industry will increase diet quality and consequently the efficiency of diet utilization while lowering environmental impact. These science-based formulations are expected to contribute to a more sustainable industry and society.
Find out more about this study HERE.