Energy evaluation of fish feeds

Energy evaluation of fish feeds

Organisatie-onderdeel

TKI AF

Projectcode

AF16174

MMIP

Landbouw, Water, Voedsel>D. Gewaardeerd, gezond en veilig voedsel>D3. Veilige en duurzame primaire productie

Startdatum

01/01/17

Einddatum

31/12/21

Samenvatting

In terms of feed formulation/evaluation, the aquaculture sector is running behind compared to other farm animals such as pig and poultry. E.g., the pig sector applies net energy (NE) evaluation systems already since decades, which is a prerequisite for precision feeding. In fish feed formulation, energy is only evaluated with respect to digestibility, thereby omitting potential differences of the different macronutrients affecting/stimulating growth. Currently, a diversification of ingredients in fish feeds is taken place due to the growth of the sector and the increasing price and the decreasing availability of fish meal and oil. A NE approach in fish feed formulation that takes into account the dietary macronutrient composition will therefore improve current feed practices in aquaculture contributing to amongst others: improved resource-use efficiency and less waste production/environmental impact, thereby improving water quality and welfare of fish and as a result the total profitability of the sector. The project aims to develop NE evaluation systems for different fish species, which are currently lacking and to enable the implementation of these NE systems into feed formulation with respect to nutrient
requirements (i.e., balancing energy content of diets, on NE basis, with other nutrients like protein). The project comprises 2 PhD projects.
PhD-1 studies the requirements of Nile tilapia to maximize body weight gain and optimize body composition in relation to optimal dietary net energy (NE) content. In other words PhD-1 will work on how to apply the developed NE systems in fish feed formulation and look at factors influencing the optimal protein to NE ratio in diets. The NE-formulas/evaluation systems are developed by PhD-2. The utilization efficiency for growth shows considerable between-species and within-species variability. PhD-2 will assess physiological and environmental factors affecting the NE-evaluation. A NE approach is novel in fish feed formulation. NE-equations for fish are not available. The feed industry is looking forward to apply NE-evaluation equations in aquafeed formulation, indicated by the contribution/participation of the PPS-partners in this project. NE-evaluation will facilitate an improved resource-use efficiency, stimulate the diversification of ingredient use, stimulate the valorization of ingredients not usable as human food (i.e. lower quality ingredients) and enable precision feeding (balanced diets) in fish that minimize environmental impacts. Overall NE-equations for fish will make an important contribution in ensuring future human demand for high quality proteins originating from fish for The Netherlands, Europe and globally.

Doel van het project

This project contributes to Mission D “Gewaardeerd, gezond en veilig voedsel” and specifically to the MMIP D3 “Veilige en duurzame primaire productie”. It contributes to the subprograms “Optimal animal health and welfare” and “Integral sustainability of animal production”.
Balanced and well formulated diets are a prerequisite for optimal health and welfare of animals, and thus also for fish. NE-equations for fish are not available. The feed industry is looking forward to apply NE-evaluation equations in aquafeed formulation, indicated by the contribution/participation of the PPS-partners in this project. NE-evaluation will facilitate an improved resource-use efficiency, stimulate the diversification of ingredient use, stimulate the valorisation of ingredients not usable as human food (i.e. lower quality ingredients) and enable precision feeding (balanced diets) in fish that minimize environmental impacts.

Relatie met missie (Motivatie)

In past years, global fish consumption by humans has strongly increased. Fish is important (healthy) food source for humans. Next to its high protein quality, fish is an important source of health fatty acids (EPA, DHA etc.), vitamins (e.g., Vitamin B12) and also specific micro-minerals (e.g. Se) for humans. Since fish from fisheries cannot grow, the yearly global increasing demand for fish has to come from aquaculture. For enabling this growth also the production of the aqua-feeds needs to increased. In general nutritional knowledge on fish is less well developed compared to e.g. pig and poultry nutrition. E.g. energy evaluation systems for fish are less sophisticated as no NE systems have been developed when this project started. Overall NE-equations for fish, which will be developed in this project, will make an important contribution in ensuring future human demand for high quality proteins originating from fish for The Netherlands, Europe and globally.

Geplande acties

The project should deliver the following:
- The project should generate knowledge on the optimal protein to energy (i.e., NE) ratio in fish diets with a focus on tilapia (PhD-1).
- The project should generate knowledge on NE-formulas for fish (PhD-2).