Tuesday, May 10, 2016

10/05/2016: Carbohydrates in fish nutrition

An overview of what could decide, limit and improve the use of nutritive carbohydrates in fish 

by Biju Sam Kamalam and Stephane Panserat  

Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy and carbon in feed formulations. They can be easily distinguished from the other energy yielding nutrients in terms of their abundance and low price. To illustrate, the collective global production of the major cereal grains i.e., maize, wheat and rice amounted to a colossal 2.5 billion tonnes in the year 2013 (FAO).

The total carbohydrate content and the digestible fraction of starch and sugars in these grains can be roughly estimated to be about 2.1 and 1.75 billion tonnes, respectively (www.feedipedia.org). Besides, the unit cost of carbohydrate sources is almost three to five fold less than that of the protein and lipid sources of interest. Therefore, the inclusion level of carbohydrates in commercial fish feed assumes direct economic significance i.e., in terms of lower feed cost per unit weight gain.

On the other hand, though not strictly essential in the biological sense, optimal inclusion of dietary carbohydrates is known to increase the retention of protein and lipid in farmed fishes and reduce nitrogen discharge in farm effluents. These are factors that are relevant to the sustainability of any aquaculture operation.

Moreover, the presence of carbohydrates in the ingredient mixture during the process of cooking extrusion inevitably helps in pellet binding, stability and floatability. These are characteristics that minimize nutrient leaching and feed wastage. Taken as a whole, carbohydrate is an often underrated but vital cog in the fish feed manufacturing wheel. 

Read the full article in International Aquafeed HERE.  

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
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