Hybrid striped bass feeds based on fish oil, beef tallow, and eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid supplements: Insight regarding fish oil sparing and demand for -3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.J Anim Sci. 2016 Mar; 94(3):978-88.JA
Previous research suggests that saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) rich lipids, including beef tallow, can make utilization or diet-to-tissue transfer of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) more efficient. We hypothesized that using beef tallow as an alternative to fish oil may effectively reduce the LC-PUFA demand of hybrid striped bass × and allow for greater fish oil sparing. Accordingly, we evaluated growth performance and tissue fatty acid profiles of juvenile fish (23.7 ± 0.3 g) fed diets containing menhaden fish oil (considered an ideal source of LC-PUFA for this taxon), beef tallow (BEEF ONLY), or beef tallow amended with purified sources of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and/or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to achieve levels corresponding to 50 or 100% of those observed in the FISH ONLY feed. Diets were randomly assigned to quadruplicate tanks of fish (= 4; 10 fish/tank), and fish were fed assigned diets to apparent satiation once daily for 10 wk. Survival (98-100%) was equivalent among treatments, but weight gain (117-180%), specific growth rate (1.1-1.5% BW/d), feed intake (1.4-1.8% BW/d), thermal growth coefficient (0.50-0.70), and feed conversion ratio (FCR; 1.1-1.4, DM basis) varied. Except for FCR, no differences were observed between the FISH ONLY and BEEF ONLY treatments, but performance was generally numerically superior among fish fed the diets containing beef tallow supplemented with DHA at the 100% or both EPA and DHA at the 50% or 100% level. Tissue fatty acid composition was significantly distorted in favor among fish fed the beef tallow-based feeds; however, profile distortion was most overt in peripheral tissues. Results suggest that beef tallow may be used as a primary lipid source in practical diets for hybrid striped bass, but performance may be improved by supplementation with LC-PUFA, particularly DHA. Furthermore, our results suggest that -3 LC-PUFA requirements reported for hybrid striped bass may not be fully accurate and that DHA may be more critical than EPA as a limiting nutrient in feed formulation.