News last update:6 Aug 2012

ARS develops new vitamin mix for rainbow trout

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) fish nutritionist Rick developed an updated, preblended vitamin mix for rainbow trout.

A new, nonproprietary mix, according to Barrows, was needed to replace a decades-old formula that wasn't adapted to today's fish-feed processing technology. That technology, known as "extrusion processing," creates heat that can damage some vitamins. But the formula that Barrows developed takes this into account, compensating appropriately for estimated losses.

Barrows combed scientific journal articles and other published literature from around the globe to find the best available data on these losses, and then conducted additional collaborative research to fill in missing pieces of the puzzle. He used this information to determine the best quantity of each affected vitamin to use in the new premixed formula. It's just one of many steps that went into the two years of research and development that resulted in the science-based product dubbed "ARS-702."

In 2007, Barrows went public with the formula, which specifies the type and amount of each nutrient. Two major manufacturers of vitamins now make the mix which, in turn, has been added by feed makers to more than 700,000 pounds of fish feeds.

Barrows, who is with the ARS Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit, Hagerman, Idaho, developed the vitamin mix in collaboration with ARS teammate and fish physiologist Gibson Gaylord at Hagerman, and Ron Hardy, director of the Aquaculture Research Institute at the University of Idaho. ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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