Microbial and genetically engineered oils as replacements for fish oil in aquaculture feeds



Sprague M, Betancor MB & Tocher DR (2017) Microbial and genetically engineered oils as replacements for fish oil in aquaculture feeds. Biotechnology Letters, 39 (11), pp. 1599-1609.

As the global population grows more of our fish and seafood are being farmed. Fish are the main dietary source of the omega-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids, but these cannot be produced in sufficient quantities as are now required for human health. Farmed fish have traditionally been fed a diet consisting of fishmeal and fish oil, rich in n-3 LC-PUFA. However, the increase in global aquaculture production has resulted in these finite and limited marine ingredients being replaced with sustainable alternatives of terrestrial origin that are devoid of n-3 LC-PUFA. Consequently, the nutritional value of the final product has been partially compromised with EPA and DHA levels both falling. Recent calls from the salmon industry for new sources of n-3 LC-PUFA have received significant commercial interest. Thus, this review explores the technologies being applied to producede novon-3 LC-PUFA sources, namely microalgae and genetically engineered oilseed crops, and how they may be used in aquafeeds to ensure that farmed fish remain a healthy component of the human diet.

Alternative n-3 LC-PUFA sources; Aquaculture; EPA and DHA; Farmed Fish; Human health; Oils from transgenic plants; Polyunsaturated fatty acids

Biotechnology Letters: Volume 39, Issue 11

Publication date30/11/2017
Publication date online18/07/2017
Date accepted by journal13/07/2017

People (2)


Dr Monica Betancor

Dr Monica Betancor

Associate Professor, Institute of Aquaculture

Dr Matthew Sprague

Dr Matthew Sprague

Lecturer in Nutrition, Institute of Aquaculture