Research: Alternative proteins in trout and salmon feeds

20-03-2012 | |

Aquaculture research in the United States studied the effects of replacing fishmeal with blends of alternative proteins on growth performance of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and early or late stage juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

The purpose of this study was to evaluate blends of alternate proteins as replacements for fishmeal in diets for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and to use the results to develop and test alternate protein blends in diets for juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).
Trial setup
Nine experimental diets in which protein blends replaced 63%, 82% or 100% of fishmeal in the formulation (20, 10, and 0% fishmeal) were fed to rainbow trout (initial weight 19.5 g) for 12 weeks.
Weight gains of trout fed diets containing the soy protein concentrate-based blend and the fishmeal control diet were similar, except at the 100% fishmeal replacement level, and significantly higher than that of trout fed diets containing the other blends.
The soy protein blend and another based on wheat gluten meal were modified slightly and evaluated in early stage Atlantic salmon juveniles (initial weight 5.5 g).
Protein blends replaced 50%, 66% or 84% of fishmeal (30, 20 or 10% fishmeal).
Weight gains of early stage juvenile salmon after 18 weeks of feeding were significantly lower and feed conversion ratios higher when fed diets containing either blend compared to the fishmeal control diet, and gains decreased as level of fishmeal replacement increased.
Second trial
Blends were then modified further and tested in advance stage salmon juveniles (initial weight 31.5 g). These blends were solely either all-plant protein-based or contained poultry by-product meal.
Both blends were evaluated with or without addition of Spirulina algae meal.
Alternate protein blends completely replaced fishmeal in experimental diets.
After 12 weeks of feeding, no differences in weight gain or feed conversion ratios were measured among groups fed experimental diets containing protein blends or the fishmeal control diet.
Replacement of fishmeal with alternative protein blends in diets for early stage juvenile salmon is not recommended and the penalty in growth is severe.
Fishmeal can be completely replaced in diets for late stage salmon over 30 g without compromising fish performance or using land animal protein ingredients in feed formulations.


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