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AQUA 2012: Chia Seed as a Lipid Source in Tilapia Diets

CZECH REPUBLIC - Adriana Muoz-Ramrez, University of Colombia, suggests using chia seed as a lipid source in tilapia diets due to its high Omega 6 and Omega 3 content, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor, live from AQUA 2012.

The project by Ms Muoz-Ramrez looked at the effects of different lipids on the productive parameters of red tilapia in floating cages.

With tilapia production increasing in Colombia, Ms Muoz-Ramrez pointed out the need for other lipid sources that can be included in fish diets.

Four different lipids were used in the experiment; linseed, fish oil, palm oil and chia.

Chia is a non conventional feed which is good for both human and animal consumption.

On calculating the total percentage poly-unsaturated fatty acid content, chia scored highest out of the four. Chia was also the best source of Omega 3 and Omega 6.

When conducting the experiment, Ms Muoz-Ramrez used 10,704 red tilapia in a company farm setting. Sixteen cages with 669 fish per cage were used over the 45 day experimental period and samples of 21 fish were taken from each cage.

The findings showed that none of the four lipids showed any real difference in terms of weight gain, food conversion or protein efficiency rate.

However, chia had the largest food intake and palm oil the least.

Although palm oil was found to be the least in terms of food intake, it proved to be the highest for specific growth rate.

Despite no large differences being seen, Ms Muoz-Ramrez stated that chia is still a valuable Omega 3 and 6 rich option to replace fish oil in tilapia diets.

Lucy Towers

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