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ith the rapid development of worldwide aquaculture, the demand for sustainable sources used in aquafeed is subsequently increasing. However, quality and safety of aquatic products remains a key problem and you will often find that the critical factor is the aquafeed. The current global aquafeed market is positively active and the exponential demand presents great prospects for its future, given the fast development of aquaculture. In fact, it is expected to reach a value of $123,990.3 million by 2019, whilst the micromarkets specifically, are also estimated to greatly increase. The main cost in aquafeed is protein. Traditionally, fishmeal and soybean meal have been used for aquaculture. But have you ever thought whether one new and important source could replace the fishmeal or soybean meal with many advantages? The answer is microalgae. Microalgae is a kind of high photosynthetic utilization of autotrophic plants; it is widely present on land and in the ocean. It generates much polysaccharide, protein and pigment by cell metabolism. A multi-purpose source, microalgae can also be used in food, medicine and genetic engineering fields, to name but a few.

Microalgae used in aquafeed

Firstly, the microalgae is rich in protein and therefore contains large amounts of essential amino acids. Indeed, the protein from the microalgae, Spirulina produced by Tianjin Norland Biotech Co Ltd, can reach 65-70 percent. In light of this, algae have the possibility to replace traditional feed. According to the experiment data on Gibel Carp, fish showed very good digestibility of Spirulina diets to the extent that the substitution level of fishmeal protein by spirulina can reach 100 percent. Other research on Channel Catfish showed that the algae

chlorella could replace dietary soybean meal and cottonseed meal. Secondly, the microalgae contain numerous nutritional ingredients, such as pigments, mineral elements, EPA & DHA. These can transform the color of fish and shrimp to be brighter, promote their growth and improve upon the nutritional value of the aquatic products. As shown in a study of fish color on Carassius auratus gibelio, the lightness, yellow and saturation have improved after fed with spirulina for a period of time. Additionally, the nutritional quality and safety of the aquatic products attract more and more attention. As a new aquafeed material, the microalgae have their advantages on improving the quality of aquatic products. It is evident from research that microalgae can improve the muscle quality and color of fish and shrimp, promote their growth, improve survival rate and disease

resistance of the larvae, shorten the growth cycle, and then reduce the cost on top of all of this. Based in China, Tianjin Norland Biotech Co Ltd is a leading supplier of algae products around the world having built up six standard algae farms and processing plant in Erdos Lake of North China with 700,000m2 farm, with an impressive 1000 greenhouses to cultivate Spirulina. With an ever-growing population, and a critical demand for sustainable sources for aquafeed, an effective approach to relieve the pressure on aquafeed would be to take full advantage of microalgae.

24 | January 2017 - International Aquafeed

JAN 2017 - International Aquafeed magazine