April 12 2022

Aquaculture Gut Health

Improving gut health through aquafeeds


Aquafeed.com hosted a webinar on how to improve gut health through aquafeeds. It was moderated by the knowledgeable, Hans Boon, an international aquafeed consultant and the owner of AQUACULTURE EXPERIENCE.

If you would like to learn more about risk mitigation strategies by using feed ingredients and additives for optimal gut health and microbiota balance then this discussion is for you!

The event featured presenting that included:

Nguyen Duy Hoa, Global Technical Director, MOTIV

Martin Guerin, Regional Technical Manager, Adisseo Malaysia

Valentin Eckart, Product Manager Aqua Application, Biochem 

And the speaker we will follow through this article:

Siméon Fagnon, Innovation Product Manager at Phytsosynthese

At Phytsosynthese Siméon develops botanical products for aquaculture and provides technical support for aqua stakeholders around the world. 

His presentation was on:

Botanicals and gut health improvement in aquaculture.

What is gut health? It’s really a multidimensional concept that 3 main pillars:

  1. Intestinal integrity 
  2. Effective immune status 
  3. Gut Microbiota – Established and well-balanced gut microbiota is what we would like

All of these three concepts are interrelated. They can each affect one another and vice versa. 

Things that can influence gut function in aquaculture are feed composition, stress, pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites), and toxins.

With this knowledge, there has been a growing interest in the microbiome and the application of phytogenics for gut health improvements in aquaculture. 

What are botanicals?

Botanicals are a plant or compound that comes from a specific environment such as a forest, beekeeping, cultivated environment, and marine environment (algae). 

With so many amazing opportunities for botanicals, how do we deal with their complexities? Siméon said we must use phytochemistry to know what bioactive molecules are inside of them. With this knowledge, we then must figure out how to formulate a different family of molecules to get reach our end goal. With so many variations of bioactive, this is no simple task!

How can botanicals impact gut health when used in aquafeed?

Each bioactive molecule family has its own property. Some have the capacity to improve gut integrity (reduce inflammation), others can help with immuno-modulation (balance microbiota), improve the immune system, and anti-oxidation. All of these combine to improve a functional gut. 

What are the challenges of using botanicals in aquaculture?

BotanicalsOne challenge is that extruded feed is often used for aquafeeds. This does not work well with some botanicals such as some oils, because the bioactive molecules can evaporate.  A way to get around this is to encapsulate them to protect them from evaporations. 

Another challenge is the regulatory and environmental issues. Botanicals are authorized as feed additives, but we can’t forget about the safety of the marine environment. The proper management strategy has to continue to be used to maintain sustainability. 

To learn more about the opportunity of botanicals in aquaculture and aquafeed please visit Phytosynthese.