Scientists seek to improve health benefits of rainbow trout using dietary coriander oil to increase fatty acid composition.
THE health benefits of consuming omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are well established, and the primary sources of these fatty acids in the human diet are through fish and seafood.
Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan's department of animal and poultry science are studying new methods for improving the fatty acid composition of farmed fish.
As wild fish stocks decline, the aquaculture industry has become one of the fastest-growing animal production sectors; this growth has increased demand for aquaculture feed production, which has caused further demand for fish oil.
Historically, fish are fed fish oil to increase levels of EPA and DHA. However, the fish oil supply is static; the cost has increased, and the industry is seeking low-cost alternatives such as vegetable oils.
In a paper published in the Canadian Journal of Animal Science, researchers investigated strategies to increase long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in rainbow trout. They looked at the addition of coriander oil to vegetable oil-based diets to increase the bioconversion of alpha-linolenic acid into EPA and DHA.
Their research showed that fish fed coriander had increased concentrations of EPA and DHA in the whole fillet. They also found that the coriander had no negative effects on the health or growth of the fish.
"Our study shows that the addition of coriander oil to vegetable oil diets has the potential to improve the fillet fatty acid composition of farmed fish," said Dr. Murray Drew, a professor with the University of Saskatchewan's College of Agriculture & Bioresources and co-author of the study. "This discovery will contribute to the overall sustainability of aquaculture."
In addition to finding alternative ways to increase the levels of EPA and DHA in farmed fish, innovative methods such as the use of coriander oil create a new market for spice growers in Canada, the university suggested.