Microalgae Oil as an Effective Alternative Source of EPA and DHA for Gilthead Seabream (Sparus aurata) Aquaculture
DSM Nutritional Products, Research Centre for Animal Nutrition & Health, 68128 Village-Neuf, France
VRM Srl Naturalleva, 37137 Verona, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mariangela Caroprese
Received: 11 March 2021
Revised: 25 March 2021
Accepted: 26 March 2021
Published: 31 March 2021
Aquaculture must rely on sustainable aquafeeds to attain the future demand for farmed and high-quality seafood. Algae-derived ingredients, particularly oils from microalgae, have recently emerged as an alternative to fish oil and vegetable oils extracted from terrestrial plants. Such microalgae oils are sustainable alternatives, rich in essential fatty acids and free of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This study assesses the incorporation of microalgae oils in the diet of gilthead seabream, which is a carnivorous species with typically high demand for fish-based ingredients, particularly fishmeal and fish oil. In particular, its effect on feed quality, seabream growth performance, fillet quality, and safety were compared when fish were fed a diet rich in fish oil versus diets formulated with microalgal oils (3.5 or 0.7% incorporation rate). Importantly, fish performance was maintained when fish oil was replaced by microalgae oil, and fish fillet showed noticeably lower levels of contamination and similar sensory quality. Collectively, the findings of this study showed that aquafeeds formulated with microalgae oils fulfil important nutritional requirements of gilthead seabream and result in a high quality product. Ultimately, these findings offer a more resilient means for sustaining the future growth of gilthead seabream aquaculture.