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Appears in Collections:Aquaculture eTheses
Title: Potential of exogenous enzymes in low fish meal diets to improve nutrient digestibility and sustainability of farmed tilapia in Thailand
Author(s): Wallace, Janielle Latoya
Supervisor(s): Murray, Francis
Little, David
Keywords: Tilapia
Non-starch polysaccharides
Fish meal
Soybean meal
Issue Date: Sep-2015
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Intensive and semi-intensive aquaculture systems are dependent on nutrient input either in the form of supplemental or complete feeds. Most complete diets still include high fish meal (FM) levels (≥10%). However, as the industry attempts to reduce its reliance on FM, feeds must now be formulated with much lower levels especially for omnivorous species such as tilapia. By 2015, mean FM inclusion in tilapia diets was projected to fall below 3% and be further reduced to 1% by 2020. In the global context of competition for crops, finding suitable plant-based replacers for FM and meeting the increasing demand for seafood, lower-cost and under-utilised plant feedstuffs are now receiving greater attention. The study was divided into three distinct components – field survey, growth experiments, and life cycle assessment. Field surveys were used to contextualise the growth experiments and assess commercialisation opportunities for multi-enzyme inclusion in tilapia feeds. Two sets of digestibility and growth experiments were designed to evaluate the feasibility of using high inclusions of plant-based ingredients sourced from locally available feedstuffs in Thailand to substitute FM at low inclusion levels (0 – 5%). The research evaluated the hypothesis regarding the potential of exogenous enzymes (protease, xylanase and phytase) to minimize anti-nutritional effects on nutrient digestibility of proteins, polysaccharides and phosphorus in tilapia. The research also assessed the secondary effects of enzyme supplementation on economic efficiency and life cycle environmental impacts. Tilapia is the second most cultured finfish globally and Thailand is the sixth largest producer. Based on the findings of the field survey, feeding practices of Thai tilapia farmers were confirmed to be diverse. Feed inputs included, but were not limited to, agro-industrial by-products (e.g. rice bran, corn bran etc.) and commercial diets. Commercial diets contained 15 – 30% crude protein and lower protein livestock diets (i.e. pig ration) were often used for supplemental feeding or “fattening”. The experimental low FM diets were therefore formulated as grow-out or “fattening” diets for semi-intensive green-water systems, a prominent feature (>60%) of Thai tilapia farming. In Phase 1, the digestibility experiment assessed the digestibility and growth in tilapia fed 0%, 3% and 5% FM diets with and without xylanase (0.385 g kg-1) and phytase (0.075 g kg-1). Performance decreased significantly with declining FM levels. No differences in feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR), specific growth rate (SGR) and weight gain were observed between the enzyme and control diets. Nevertheless, tilapia fed the enzyme supplemented 3% FM and control 5% FM performed similarly (P < 0.05). No enzyme-related effects were noticed for protein digestibility but phosphorus (P) digestibility improved by 9%, except at 0% FM level (P > 0.05). The enzymes had no apparent influence on nitrogen (N) retention contrary to previous studies, however, higher retention for P was observed. Villus length decreased with declining FM levels yet no improvements were seen in tilapia fed enzyme diets. In a simultaneous grow-out experiment, the six experimental diets were compared to an industry 10% FM standard. Conversion ratio was the lowest (1.66) in adult tilapia fed 10% FM diet however the enzyme supplemented 0% FM fed fish had a comparatively low FCR of 1.67. There were no significant enzyme-related effects on weight gain¸ SGR and protein efficiency. Proximal villi results were inconsistent. The cost of feed decreased with declining FM levels but increased with enzyme inclusion. Nevertheless, the economic returns per kg of whole fish produced were better using enzyme supplemented diets compared to the controls. Though the size of the effects on growth and nutrient utilisation were modest, the findings suggested that xylanase and phytase had some level of synergistic action on the targeted anti-nutrients. However, further research was required. In Phase 2, two control diets (2% FM, negative control (NC) and 10% FM, positive control (PC)) were compared with three enzyme supplemented 2% FM diets (NO-PRO, 0.385 g kg-1 xylanase and 0.075 g kg-1 phytase only; LO-PRO, xylanase + phytase + 0.2 g kg-1 protease and HI-PRO, xylanase + phytase + 0.4 g kg-1 PRO). Growth performances improved with enzyme supplementation compared to the NC (P < 0.05). Of the enzyme supplemented diets, the LO-PRO diet showed the highest improvements in weight gain (26%) and feed intake (19%), the latter comparing statistically to the 10% FM PC diet. The HI-PRO diet had the best FCR (1.88), again comparable to the PC (1.73). The NO-PRO diet had the highest protein, P, lipid and energy digestibility, suggesting no additive effect of protease on these coefficients. In terms of gut histomorphology, the LO-PRO and PC diets had the highest measurements and were statistically similar which may have explained similarities in feed intake. Compared to the NC, the HI-PRO diet produced the highest level of change in net profit due to gains in feeding efficiency however, the LO-PRO showed better improvements in terms of growth. Based on these findings, the ternary combination of protease with xylanase and phytase (LOPRO) has potential in limiting FM use for tilapia grow-out feeds, however, the economic efficiencies were still below that of a 10% FM diet. Future considerations for research should target the indigestible dietary components in order to optimise enzyme dosages and maximise the benefits of each enzymes. In conclusion, a comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to evaluate the environmental impacts of low FM diets and commercial feeds associated with tilapia production in Thailand. The study showed that the low FM enzyme supplemented diets had lower impact potentials and were environmental superior to the average (10% FM) commercial standard. LCA modules are recommended for least-cost formulation programmes as an option going forward. Additionally, LCA can be used as a predictive tool to guide farmers, especially small-scale producers, on the potential impacts of feed input choices and feeding practices. This will ensure higher product quality but also demonstrate environmental responsibility on the part of aquafeed and fish producers to final seafood consumers.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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