Chicken industry waste can be useful for farmed fish feed. (Photo: Stock File)
Chicken offals considered profitable and ecological fish feed
Thursday, August 01, 2013, 00:50 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers from the National University of Colombia (UNC) found a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option in the waste of the poultry industry to replace the protein requirement of fish feed for aquaculture.
One of the major problems faced by Colombian fish farmers today is the availability of good quality feed having affordable prices.
Between April 2002 and March 2003, production costs increased from USD 2,263 to USD 2,959, UNC reported through its UN Journal. And while the price paid to fish producers increased by 7 per cent, food costs rose 11 per cent.
According to the Agrocadenas Observatory in Colombia, despite the fact that pet food is manufactured by firms installed in the country, most of the raw materials for making them (soybean meal, wheat bran and cassava starch, among others) are purchased abroad.
UNC scientists evaluated the biological and economic feasibility of white chicken offal, considered as waste by the poultry industry.
For the team, these viscera may serve as a food source of pacu (cachama), the second most produced species in Colombia.
According to José Ader Gomez, a doctor in Animal Science and a professor at the UN in Palmira, a particular problem that animal feed has is protein supply due to the limited availability of inputs that are rich in them, and their high cost.
"Such offal, for example, can be converted into an alternative recycling of nutrients such as a protein source for fish and as a strategy to lower costs," states the marine biologist Christopher Botero, another participant in the project.
Researchers proposed four mixtures with different levels of addition of white chicken offals (10 per cent, 20 per cent, 30 per cent and 40 per cent) and five fermentation periods: 1, 3, 7, 14 and 21 days.
In this regard, Gomez pointed out: "These so called nuclei have been submitted to organoleptic (taste and odour), chemical (pH measurement with potentiometer at different times), food science and bacteriological (microbial count) analysis. 10 per cent, 20 per cent and 30 per cent levels showed the best results. For this reason, they were chosen to be used in the live digestibility trial."
The team designed four experimental treatments:
- Three with selected addition levels (10 per cent, 20 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively);
- A control one (0 per cent of offals).
Botero explained that "it was possible to determine that it is a safe product that can be used without any problem for fish feed, since it lacks a contaminating microbial population (it does not show salmonella presence or coliform)."
Experts stressed that increasing the addition of white chicken offals, manufacturing costs are reduced by 40 per cent compared to the value of a commercial concentrate.
By Analia Murias