Monday, February 22, 2016

22/02/2016: Crude Protein vs Amino Acids
Dr Alexandros Samartzis

First published in International Aquafeed, January-February 2016  

Since prehistoric times, the aquatic elements have inspired awe in humans. This fear of the unfamiliar and wonder at the extraordinary could give an indication of why aquaculture farming came at such a later time than terrestrial animal farming and agriculture, even though aquaculture is now displaying tremendous capabilities.

The strength of the relatively new aquaculture industry and its great potential is emphasised by its growth rate, which is almost as impressive as the beauty of the environment in which the species live.

This year, for the first time in recent history, aquaculture (average 8.1% annual growth rate, compare to terrestrial livestock production at 2.6% per year) outpaced fisheries, providing more than half of the total seafood produced.

However, this production is now expected to reach 62 percent by 2030, meaning that aquaculture will become the fastest growing agricultural food sector, according to credible sources.

That said, it is worth bearing in mind that this extremely promising industry remains in its infancy when it comes to meeting the nutritional needs of the cultured species, compared to other industries like poultry and swine. The direct translation of the word protein is 'First among other' or 'protos.'

The most characteristic example of this can be seen in the poultry and swine industry since the late 1990s. These industries have made a significant move from crude protein (CP) to ideal amino acid (AA) based formulations, whilst the majority of the aquaculture sector is still formulating on a CP basis.

I am definitely of the opinion that such practice is neither accurate from an analytical perspective, nor optimum from a nutritional approach.

Read the full article in International Aquafeed HERE.     

The Aquaculturists
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