Partial replacement of dietary fish oil with blends of vegetable oils (rapeseed, linseed and palm oils) in diets for European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.) over a long term growth study: effects on muscle and liver fatty acid composition and effectiveness of a fish oil finishing diet.Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2006 Nov-Dec; 145(3-4):389-99.CB
Triplicate groups of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.), of initial mass 5 g, were fed one of three practical type diets for 64 weeks. The three diets differed only in the added oil and were 100% fish oil (FO; diet A), 40% FO/60% vegetable oil blend (VO; diet B) where the VO blend was rapeseed oil, linseed oil and palm oil in the ratio 10/35/15 by weight and 40% FO/60% VO blend (diet C) where the ratio was 24/24/12 by weight. After final sample collection the remaining fish were switched to a 100% FO finishing diet for a further 20 weeks. After 64 weeks fish fed 60% VO diet B had significantly lower live mass and liver mass than fish fed diets A and C although SGR, FCR and length were not different between groups. There were no differences in any of the above parameters after either 14 or 20 weeks on the FO finishing diet. Fatty acid compositions of flesh were correlated to dietary fatty acids although there was selective retention of docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3; DHA) regardless of dietary input. Inclusion of dietary VO resulted in significantly reduced flesh levels of DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3; EPA) while 18:1n-9, 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-3 were all significantly increased in fish fed the 60% VO diets. Fatty acid compositions of liver showed broadly similar changes, as a result of dietary fatty acid composition, as was seen in flesh. However, the response of flesh and liver to feeding a FO finishing diet was different. In flesh, DHA and EPA values were not restored after 14 or 20 weeks of feeding a FO finishing diet with the values in fish fed the two 60% VO diets being around 70% of the values seen in fish fed FO throughout. Conversely, and despite liver DHA and EPA levels being reduced to only 40% of the value seen in fish fed 100% FO after 64 weeks, the levels of liver DHA and EPA were not significantly different between treatments after feeding the FO finishing diet for 14 weeks. However, a 200 g portion of sea bass flesh, after feeding the experimental diets for 64 weeks followed by a FO diet for 14 weeks, contained 1.22 and 0.95 g of EPA+DHA for fish fed FO or 60% VO, respectively. Therefore, sea bass grown for most of the production cycle using diets containing 60% VO can still contribute a significant quantity of healthy n-3 HUFA to the human consumer.