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Alternative Fish Food

30 Nov 2021 6:00 PM | Giuliana Barajas

Recent Nile Tilapia breeding research has uncovered a feed solution in a fruit.

By: Raul Pajaro Sanchez

Fish feed is one of the most important aspects of aquaculture. If the fish are fed the necessary nutrients and proteins, they will grow bigger, stronger, and will provide more sustenance. Additionally, a rigorous diet, adequate fertilization and a good supply of water are essential for effective breeding.

Recent research has shown that pineapple peel meal can be used to feed Nile Tilapia fingerlings without compromising growth or affecting digestibility parameters.

Olaleye Waheed of the University of Agriculture Abeokuta in Nigeria conducted a feeding trial in 2011 to investigate the effect of fermented pineapple peel meal on the growth behaviour and digestibility of Nile Tilapia.

During his research, Waheed substituted 35% crude corn protein with fermented pineapple husk flour at levels of 0, 25, 50 and 75%.

It was observed that the fermented pineapple peel was more suitable as an energy supplement when it was incorporated at a level of 75%*. Likewise, the final weight of the fish did not show significant differences in all the diets.

Based on their result, Waheed recommends that an inclusion of 75% pineapple peel in the diet of tilapia fingerlings is optimal without compromising growth rate or affecting digestibility parameters.

This theory has gained traction in 2021 as Morteza Yousefi, Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at RUDN University, stated that “pineapple supplements have a positive effect on the growth and immunity of tilapia. Biologically active components of the plant, such as the bromelain, can play a role. It stimulates the activity of the immune system and promotes the functioning of the intestines”. Although Yousefi did warn that, “the supplement should be included in the diet in small amounts. An excess of plant fiber restricts the growth of fish, and prolonged stimulation of the immune system by supplements leads, on the contrary, to suppression of immune responses." He did agree that, “Other substances in pineapple can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the fish’s body.”  

Join us to discuss more Tilapia-related topics on January 12th, 20th and 26th at the 'Future of Fish Farming: Tilapia' event with Mr. David Fincham, Director David Fincham Aquaculture Pty Ltd, Dr. Ram Bhujel, Director of Aqua-Center, Research Associate and Mr. Greg Lutz, Professor of Aquaculture Louisiana State University.

* The Weight Gain, Specific Growth Rate (SGR), Feed Conversion Rate (FCR) and Protein Production Value (PPV) were 35.6 g, 2.25% / day, 2.58 and 0.56, respectively.

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