Science publication

Microalgae oil as an effective alternative source of EPA and DHA for gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) aquaculture

Authors: Ester Santigosa, Fabio Brambilla, Luca Milanese

Published in Animals


Microalgal oils (AOs) emerged recently as an alternative to fish oil and to nutritionally poorer vegetable oils for fish species. In this trial, two experimental diets containing fish oil (negative control: 2.1%; positive control: 13.8%) and two diets incorporating AO at 3.5 and 0.7% were fed to grow out gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) of 64.5 g initial body weight. After 110 days of experimental feeding, performance (final body weight mean = 147 g) and survival (>99%) were similar across treatments. The highest eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content in positive control (PC) and 3.5 AO feeds (3.11 and 2.18% of diet, respectively) resulted in the highest EPA + DHA deposition in the fillets (18.40 and 12.36 g/100 g fatty acid, respectively), which entirely reflected the dietary fatty acid profile. Feed and fillets from fish fed the AO diets had lower levels of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Moreover, sensory quality of AO fillets scored equally to the PC fish. Collectively, these findings offer a more resilient means for sustaining the future growth of seabream aquaculture, whilst maintaining the nutritional value of the resulting seafood. The data supports the addition of seabream to the list of aquaculture species where microalgal oil can be used as an ingredient to fulfil their challenging nutritional demands.

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