Feeding tilapia with flaxseed increases their omega-3 levels

A study published in Food Sci. Technol (Campinas) reported that feeding Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) with flaxseed, a superfood derived from Linum usitatissimum, can help boost the former’s omega-3 fatty acid levels. According to the authors, this can have economic benefits since it may also improve the quality of tilapia sold as food and dried using different methods.

  • For the study, the team of researchers analyzed whether Nile tilapia byproducts (specifically, fish heads, viscera, and carcasses) fed with flaxseed and dried using various methods, would alter their omega-3 fatty acid content.
  • The tilapia were given two diets, a control and a flaxseed formulation, for 60 days.
  • After 60 days, the tilapia were slaughtered and their byproducts were gathered for studying. The tilapia heads, viscera, and carcasses were analyzed in a non-laboratory environment, freeze-dried, and oven-dried.
  • Data findings revealed that the byproducts gathered from the Nile tilapia fed with flaxseed contained docosapentaenoic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic fatty acids due to the enzymatic metabolism of the fish.
  • Meanwhile, the oven-dried byproducts contained lower levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids. For the multivariate analysis, the byproducts from the tilapia fed with flaxseed had a higher fatty acid content.
  • The study confirmed that feeding Nile tilapia flaxseed and using fish byproducts, which remains mostly unused when fish is processed, is a profitable business strategy.
  • Data from the study also showed that dried tilapia byproducts may be easier to transport and store.

The researchers concluded that feeding Nile tilapia flaxseed helped boost their fatty acid content and that using the drying process can help expedite the transportation and storage of fish products.

Find the full text of study at this link.

You can read more articles about the benefits of eating fresh food like Nile tilapia and flaxseed at Fresh.news.

Journal Reference:

Zanqui AB, Souza AHPD, Gohara AK, Nishiyama MF, Ribeiro RP, Souza NED, Visentainer JV, Gomes STM, Matsushita M. MULTIVARIATE STUDY OF NILE TILAPIA BYPRODUCTS ENRICHED WITH OMEGA-3 AND DRIED WITH DIFFERENT METHODS. Food Science and Technology. 2016;36(1):18–23. DOI: 10.1590/1678-457X.6796

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