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Title: Studies on the suitability of Jatropha curcas kernel meal as an alternative protein source in diets for carp (Cyprinus carpio) and tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)
Authors: Krome, Carsten Alexander
Supervisor(s): Jauncey, Kim
Focken, Ulfert
Keywords: Jatropha
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: University of Stirling
Thuenen Institute of Fisheries Ecology, Germany
Abstract: Aquaculture production is increasing annualy and wild fisheries for fishmeal production remain stagnant. As a consequence, extensive research has been deployed to reduce dietary fishmeal inclusion in feeds of farmed species. Usage of alternative protein sources derived from plants continues to increase with the most popular sources being oilseeds, legumes and cereal grains. The downside of these sources is that most of them could directly be used for human consumption arising legitimate criticism from voices referring to countries where protein shortages lead to malnutrition among the population. Jatropha curcas is a tropical oilseed with upcoming popularity for sustainable fuel sourcing. The plant is thought to thrive in semi-arid and arid areas, not just producing oil, but at the same time reclaiming previously eroded land for the local population. For these reasons, annual cultivation of Jatropha curcas is thought to rise over the next decades. After oil is extracted from the seed, the remaining press cake, is currently used as a fertilizer or energy source. This is mostly due to toxic phorbol esters that until recent- ly limited any nutritional applications. In 2011, a method to detoxify Jatropha press cake was developed and paved the way for nutritional research on the resulting detoxified Jatropha curcas kernel meal (JKM) to be launched. JKM offers very high protein content with a balanced amino acid composition suggesting opportunities for usage as a feedstuff in aquaculture diets. JKM further has higher mineral content than comparable oilseeds. However, potential anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) present in the meal could lead to impairment of nutrient availability or other adverse effects. Previous research has already started to evaluate JKM as a protein source for a variety of aquaculture species. This thesis attempts to further identify the potential of JKM as a protein source and assess the effects of JKM on the development of two model cultured teleost species, common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), as they represent two of the most farmed species, particularly in the tropics. The work comprises growth trials on both species using fishmeal as a subject of replacement in solely fishmeal protein-based diets and on more practical fishmeal/plant protein-based diets. It engages with the effects of phytate, a prominent component of JKM with potential anti-nutritional attributes and commercially available phytase feed supplements to diminish these attributes, as well as oxalate, another plant-specific component with high concentrations in JKM and with limited attention in aquaculture nutrition research. Carp and tilapia showed varying results with different inclusion levels of JKM. For carp 50% fishmeal replacement was possible without losses in growth in diets where fishmeal was the only bulk protein source (Chapter 3.1), Tilapia showed slightly worse growth at a 30% replacement level (Chapter 3.2). A steep decline in growth could be observed when replacing 100% fishmeal with JKM in carp (Chapter 3.1), while tilapia showed no difference at that level compared to 30% replacement (Chapter 3.2). In practical diets, 100% of fishmeal could be replaced by JKM without any adverse effects on growth of carp (Chapter 3.3), while tilapia showed a slight, but significant linear negative correlation with higher inclusion levels of JKM (Chapter 3.4). Phytase addition in tilapia feeds was identified as having no obvious impact on growth in JKM based diets where enough available phosphorus was provided through mineral supplementation (Chapter 4.1). In JKM based diets where available phosphate was not added, phytase addition showed a tendency to increase growth and significantly increased mineral retention and decreased phosphorus effluent contamination (Chapter 4.2). Phytase application through pre-incubating JKM along with citric acid exerted a positive effect of growth on carp when fishmeal protein was replaced by 50% (Chapter 3.1). Phytase was further shown to completely hydrolyze phytate in vitro; however, incomplete hydrolysis was observed in vivo in tilapia (Chapter 4.3). Dietary soluble oxalate added to fishmeal based diets for carp showed better growth parameters, nutrient and mineral retention at inclusion levels 1.5% and higher (Chapter 5.1). For tilapia, a trial could demonstrate adverse effects of oxalate on potassium, calcium, manganese and zinc digestibilities, in this case without negative effects on growth (Chapter 5.2). For both, carp and tilapia, an impact of oxalate on lipid metabolism was evident, lowering body lipid content and blood cholesterol in inclusion levels from 1.5% or higher. JKM can become a valuable alternative to present dietary protein sources in aquaculture feeds. The nutritional attributes of JKM need further research, especially longer-term testing in a commercial scenario and application in commercially produced feeds. Results of this thesis pose a useful addition to previous research and can be referred to for realizing these next steps.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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