Novel bioactive compounds for improved palatability and performance

Aquaculture’s increasing role in delivering a high quality and nutritious product to consumers is predicated on continual industry advancement, including the development of improved feed formulations. The addition of naturally derived feed additives containing bioactive compounds has received attention due to their potential to, among other positive attributes, enhance feed palatability, sensory properties, antioxidant status, nutrient utilisation, health and immune status and the nutritional quality of farmed fish. Hence, bioactive compounds, consisting of a suite of naturally occurring chemicals found in numerous plant species, can elevate formulated feeds beyond their apparent nutritional value. Spices, for example, rich in capsaicinoids, carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and polyphenolic compounds present as an attractive bioactive addition to formulated feeds considering their well-researched effects on modulating nutrient metabolism in humans.

Lucta® approached Deakin University with a naturally derived, novel product, designed to enhance palatability and feed performance as well as exert positive effects on nutrient, specifically lipid, digestibility and fillet nutritional quality via the modulation of biochemical and molecular pathways. Accordingly, this project tested the effect of increasing inclusion in commercially relevant feeds utilising two dietary lipid sources, canola and tallow, fed to juvenile Atlantic salmon. The investigation was primarily focussed on: i) feed and growth performance, ii) nutritional quality of fillet tissue, iv) lipid metabolism and v) the genetic mechanisms underpinning any observed biological responses.

This investigation, it is anticipated, will support the commercialisation of this novel bioactive supplement as a functional, product quality enhancing ingredient in aquaculture feeds.