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he production of fish, particularly tilapia, is becoming increasingly important in the protein market and in the animal nutrition industry. This production chain has changed the lives of many people and has made fish production an increasingly technologydependent activity. In this context, nutrition and health issues have been the subjects of great interest to the producers. Biorigin, an innovative company that offers natural products, has in its portfolio functional additives that optimize production such as feeding purified beta-glucans and mannan oligosaccharides to tropical fish, thereby increasing the productivity of the fish industry. MacroGard®, consisting of purified beta-glucans, is an immunomodulator that enhances natural defenses and prevents the emergence of diseases. Its mode of action is related to the activation of leukocytes (white blood cells), strengthening the immune system. For this purpose, however, beta-glucans must be purified (concentration ≥ 60%) and highly exposed. As a result, fish supplemented with beta-glucans have greater capacity to fight pathogens that are naturally present in the environment (bacteria, viruses), greater capacity to recover from stress (fish are more sensitive to diseases after handling and transport, similarly to humans during stressful periods), and respond better to vaccination (against Streptococcus, for instance, which has been increasingly applied in commercial settings). All these benefits result in a better overall health status and performance. In a study conducted by Prof. Dr. Fabiana Pilarski, from UNESP Jaboticabal, MacroGard® was included in an extruded feed at 0.1% (1 kg/t), which was fed to tilapia for 30 days. The

results showed that MacroGard® supplementation increased weight gain by 50% and survival rate by 31.50% after fish were challenged with the bacterium Streptococcus agalactiae. The benefits of beta-glucans are known worldwide, and these products are regularly used in major fish-producing countries, such as Norway and Chile, where the use of antibiotics has been increasingly restricted. The fish production in tropical countries is becoming increasingly technology-intensive, and therefore, the use of these compounds plays a key role to obtain maximum returns. Prebiotics also stand out as natural alternatives, and their benefits have been proven in a wide variety of aquaculture species. Prebiotics are non-digestible feed components that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium) and inhibit the replication of pathogens in the gut. Considering the products derived from the cell wall of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS) have been widely used in animal nutrition, and particularly in aquaculture. Studies demonstrated that ActiveMOS, consisting of MOS, promote beneficial changes in the intestinal microbiota of tilapia, as they reduce digesta pH, and increase the production of mucus and short-chain fatty acids. As a consequence, the gut environment becomes healthier and gut mucosa is provided with a protective barrier. These benefits result in enhanced protein absorption (mainly due to the pH change) and performance (high growth rate and excellent feed conversion ratio). Natural and functional products have been increasingly applied in fish production, contributing to the profitability and sustainability of this industry. Making increasing investments in research and development, and aligned with the market, Biorigin is responsible for offering these natural alternatives to producers.

32 | November | December 2016 - International Aquafeed

NOV | DEC 2016 - International Aquafeed magazine