April 1, 2021


Supplement feeds with microbial phytase for responsible aquaculture production: DSM

Press release




The rapid growth of the aquaculture industry has driven feed manufacturers to increase their flexibility to opt on a wide variety of alternative feedstuffs in order to replace the share of marine-based ingredients in aquafeeds. However, total or partial replacement of fishmeal by low-phosphorus (P) alternative protein sources may result in growth reduction due to insufficient available P content in feed. Microbial phytase breaks down phytic acid in plant raw materials. It improves phosphorus bioavailability, improving phosphorus retention by fish fed plant protein-based diets, thereby maintaining good growth performance.

Together with Nitrogen (N), P is one of the primary nutrients that can pollute water bodies in excessive amounts. Excessive P loads associated with aquaculture can cause water quality degradation and eutrophication of the culture system and directly threaten production performance and survival.

Algae bloom can be one of the consequences when water receives an overabundance of P, both in freshwater and seawater. Massive algae bloom can deplete oxygen level at night. As algae die off and decompose, the process consumes oxygen. Oxygen depletion in the water or hypoxia can affect animal well-being, leading to asphyxia and mass mortality. Furthermore, a bloom of blue-green algae e.g. cyanobacteria is responsible for undesirable off-flavour compounds, e.g. 2-methylisoborneal (MIB) and geosmin presented in aquaculture products which negatively affect the product quality and market values.

Reducing P loading has become one of the main strategies for responsible and sustainable aquaculture production. Increasing feed phosphorus utilisation with microbial phytase leads to less faecal P output, which translates to a reduction of P loading and less negative impact of aquaculture effluent discharges into the aquatic environment. Hence, supplementing feed phytase is an ideal approach to develop a cost-effective and environment-friendly aquafeed.

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