Aquaculture nutrition

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Aquaculture Nutrition
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2010 16; 117–136

doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2095.2009.00731.x

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Department of Marine Biotechnology, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway; 2 Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway; 3 Norwegian ScientificCommittee for Food Safety, Oslo, Norway; 4 National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES), Bergen, Norway; 5 Aquaculture Protein Centre, a CoE, Oslo, Norway; 6 Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo, Norway

A prebiotic is a non-digestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or the activity of one or a limited number ofbacteria in the colon. Despite the potential benefits to health and performance as noted in various terrestrial animals, the use of prebiotics in the farming of fish and shellfish has been less investigated. The studies of prebiotics in fish and shellfish have investigated the following parameters: effect on growth, feed conversion, gut microbiota, cell damage/morphology, resistance against pathogenicbacteria and innate immune parameters such as alternative complement activity (ACH50), lysozyme activity, natural haemagglutination activity, respiratory burst, superoxide dismutase activity and phagocytic activity. This review discusses the results from these studies and the methods used. If the use of prebiotics leads to health responses becoming more clearly manifested in fish and shellfish, thenprebiotics might have the potential to increase the efficiency and sustainability of aquaculture production. However, large gaps of knowledge exist. To fully conclude on the effects of adding prebiotics in fish diets, more research efforts are needed to provide the aquaculture industry, the scientific community, the regulatory bodies and the general public with the necessary information and tools.
KEYWORDS:

aquaculture, fish, immunology, microbiota, shellfish, prebiotics

Received 8 April 2009, accepted 20 August 2009 Correspondence: Einar Ringø, Department of Marine Biotechnology, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, Norway. E-mail: Einar.Ringo@uit.no

Prebiotics are defined as non-digestible components that are metabolized by specific health-promoting bacteria such asLactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These bacteria are considered beneficial to the health and growth of the host by decreasing the presence of intestinal pathogens and/or changing the production of health related bacterial metabolites (Roberfroid 1993; Gibson & Roberfroid 1995; Gibson 1998; Manning & Gibson 2004). The latter include for instance short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which are generallybelieved to be positive for colonic health. Prebiotics are carbohydrates, which can be classified according to their molecular size or degree of polymerization (number of monosaccharide units), into monosaccharides, oligosaccharides or polysaccharides. According to International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry nomenclature, oligosaccharides are defined as saccharides containing between three andten sugar moieties (Mussatto & Mancilha 2007). Other authorities classify saccharides with 3–19 monosaccharide units in this group. However, there is not a rational physiological or chemical reason for setting these definitions (Voragen 1998). Consequently, oligosaccharides can be loosely defined as low molecular weight carbohydrates. Based on the biochemical and physiological properties, thecarbohydrates can be classified as digestible or non-digestible. The concept of non-digestible oligosaccharides (NDO) originates from the observation that the anomeric C atom (C1 or C2) of the monosaccharide units of some dietary oligosaccharides has a configuration that makes their glycosidic bonds non-digestible to the hydrolytic activity of the human/animal digestive enzymes (Roberfroid & Slavin...
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