by Liptosa, Spain

Added value farmed fish species are fed with high energy aquafeed, supplemented with emulsifying additives with the aim of increasing fat digestibility. However, the role of liver condition in the lipid digestion process is often not well evaluated.

Digest Fast is much more than a conventional emulsifier and contributes positively to the profitability of aqua facilities thanks to the synergy and effectiveness of its components. Its botanical and emulsifying ingredients optimise health and functionality of the liver, as well as promote the emulsification process within feed, achieving better absorption by the enterocytes and the subsequent distribution in the tissues. Liver protection and lipids emulsification increase efficiency of the diet and improve production results.

The profile of fatty acids determines the digestibility of fat. Digest Fast is characterised by its effectiveness in improving the digestibility of saturated fractions of fatty acids in both animal and vegetable oils/fats. This makes Digest Fast an interesting tool for nutritionists who are seeking continuous improvement of their feed formulation costs.

In addition to the economic benefits achieved with the inclusion of Digest Fast, tests carried out in several investigation centres, with or without replacements of added oil, showed significant improvements in feed conversion ratio (FCR) and daily weight gain, shortening the production cycle and, thus, improving the profitability of aquaculture companies.

Zootechnical performance improvements will be greater the higher the energy of the feed. Therefore, fish species such as salmon, trout, gilthead sea bream, sea bass, meagre, turbot and sole will benefit from the inclusion of Digest Fast as they provide for that high demand in energy. Digest Fast allows for a partial replacement of oil and fat from the diet.

Digest Fast also returns very positive results when measuring the protein efficiency ratio (PER). The PER index shows the weight gain obtained, compared to the total amount of protein supplied with the diet in a determined period. The biosurfactant Digest Fast has shown significant improvements in the utilisation of protein within fish, resulting in higher feed efficiency and lower feeding cost. This opens an interesting opportunity to adjust not only raw materials, but also protein, in order to maintain an optimised protein and energy ratio without losing performance.

Another interesting phenomenon, as a result of using this solution, is significantly increased fat and energy retention. When Digest Fast is used for oil replacement, it is possible to obtain a higher nutritional efficiency of delivered energy when compared with identical and isocaloric control diets without Digest Fast.

If we ask ourselves how Digest Fast ensures these zootechnical improvements in feed, the answer would be through the implementation of botanical and emulsifying ingredients that exhibit synergetic properties. The inclusion of botanical ingredients allows the optimisation of hepatic functionality. As the liver is a key organ for fat digestion and metabolism, its condition will determine the success or failure in absorption of nutrients, especially those soluble in fats.

Botanical components of Digest Fast help to prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver. Moderate or severe steatosis leads to reduced feed intake and shows a negative impact on fish performance, reducing profitability of the facility. Another remarkable function of Digest Fast's botanical ingredients is the stimulation of bile production and its segregation from the gallbladder. Bile plays a fundamental role in fat emulsification, making feed easily digestible for the organism. Some of the botanical components included in Digest Fast promote pancreatic health, ensuring optimised synthesis and segregation of specific enzymes responsible for fat digestion, such as lipases and esterases.

Digest Fast, applied in seabass feed at a dosage of 2kg-per-tonne and replacing 20kg of soybean oil, has shown a significant improvement in gut performance compared to a control lot fed with an identical feed without Digest Fast. Furthermore, an improvement in the weight of fillets was obtained, which has gained the attention and praise of many fish farmers.

Digest Fast is currently available for the aquaculture sector and is available in many different countries. Its original design will contribute to a more competitive and sustainable aquaculture industry, providing zootechnical and economic advantages in any of the species of commercial interest.

Trial study 1: How Digest Fast contributes towards a healthy liver

by Dr Deniz Covan, Adnan Menderes University, Turkey (2019)

Sea bass (Dicentrachus labrax)

  • Intial weight: 100-120g
  • No. fish: 250-per-tank x3
  • Temperature: 19ºC
  • Duration of trial: Four months
  • Results: Hepatosomatic Index and area of hepatocites

Aquafeed in trial

  • Commercial Aquafeed acting as control (Batch LDK)
  • Commercial Aquafeed plus Digest Fast (Batch LD1)
  • Commercial Aquafeed plus X emulsifier (Batch LD2)

Conclusions: Digest Fast, when replacing fish oil, has demonstrated improvements in liver state after four months of feeding. Digest Fast has manifested a lower hepatocytes area in comparison with a control lot and emulsifier lot. An increased liver weight was detected as well as an increase in the hepatosomatic index, as a result of higher glycogen deposits present inside the hepatocytes.

Trial study 2: Effect of supplemental additive Digest Fast on the growth performance and nutrient utilisation in European sea bass

by Dr Jorge Dias, Sparos, Portugal

Sea bass (Dicentrachus labrax)

  • Initial body weight: 146.2 ± 1.3g
  • Three batches by triplicate
  • Number of fish-per-tank: 32
  • Duration of trial: 63 days
  • Fat levels: Ctrl 25.9%, DF( 0,1%) 24.8% and DF( 0.2% )23.9% DM

Aquafeed in trial

  • Commercial aquafeed acting as control
  • Commercial aquafeed plus Digest Fast- DF 1 Kg/Mt (0,1%)
  • Commercial aquafeed plus Digest Fast- DF 2 Kg/Mt (0.2%)

Conclusions: Supplementation with Digest Fast, as a replacement for soya oil, resulted in increased dressing yield.

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