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Use of Enzymes in Fish Feed

Enzymes are used in the fish feed industry to improve the efficiency of feed production. They can be used in a variety of ways, such as increasing digestibility and improving nutrient absorption. The biggest expense in fish farming is feed, hence increasing feed utilisation efficiency is crucial. However, some nutrient-rich substances in the feed cannot be entirely digested and metabolised by the animal. As a result, these nutrients are only partially or incompletely absorbed, which has a negative effect on the animals’ general performance and growth. Applying particular enzymes to fish feed can help fish perform better by reducing the effects of anti-nutritional factors and improving the consumption of dietary energy and amino acids.


According to research by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the population of the world is predicted to increase and reach 9 billion by the year 2050. The supply of food and sources of protein is one of the major challenges associated with this population growth. Fish are among the most calorie-efficient protein foods, with an average food conversion ratio (FCR) of 1.2 to 2.0 and high protein content (18 to 20 grammes per 100 grammes of the meal) (96 to 208 calories per 100g of serving). It’s crucial that the feed used for farmed fish remains sustainable for a growing population.

The majority of plant-based feed additives also include anti-nutritional components such as lectins, saponins, phytic acids, and protease inhibitors (such as Kunitz trypsin inhibitors and Bowman-Brik Inhibitors). The heat treatment process used during pelleting does not destroy phytic acid, in contrast to other anti-nutritional elements. It is well known that phytic acid interferes with the absorption of minerals including calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which negatively impacts fish growth and development. Utilizing enzymes will improve performance, reduce anti-nutritional effects, and use less expensive raw materials.

Raw materials in fish feed

Corn, corn gluten meal, rice bran, wheat bran, sunflower seed meal, groundnut meal, cottonseed meal, linseed meal, copra meal, and DORB are among the plant-based basic ingredients used in the fish feed business (de-oiled rice bran). All of these basic ingredients have a lot of fibre, which is the portion of the meal that is not broken down by the fish’s natural digestive enzymes. High concentrations of non-starch polysaccharides comprised of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin make up the non-digestible fibre. Numerous studies have shown that the presence of non-starch polysaccharides increases the viscosity of digested feed, resulting in a reduction in the nutrients that are readily available in the feed.\

Innate enzymes in Fish Feed

ChymotrypsinCellulase- exogenous (microbial)
Table. The limited number of digestive enzymes reported in carps

Exogenous enzyme supplementation

Exogenous NSPases and phytases addition is a clever way to increase aquaculture’s profitability. It not only aids in the digestion of raw materials high in fibre but also minimises the need for minerals like MCP and DCP (mono and dicalcium phosphate). Based on the raw materials used in fish feed and the feeding behaviour, the research team at Kemin AquaScience developed an enzyme product with a combination of NSPases and phytases. To enhance the nutrient quality of fish feed, ZyvantaTM Aqua 100 DR, a multi-substrate enzyme powder combining NSP (Non-Starch Polysaccharide) enzymes and phytase, was created. The product is used on farms where it is incorporated into the feed just before the animals eat it.


The post-pellet application of enzymes for fish feed is a desirable solution to the indigestibility of feed raw materials with high fibre content. It helps farmers maintain water quality and animal health by not only enhancing fish performance but also reducing the eutrophication of pond water brought on by the release of undigested feed and phosphorus.

  1. Mayank Bhushan Singh 2. Devarshi Ranjan 3. Priyanka Verma

Master of Fisheries Science

1. Department of Aquaculture, ANDUAT Kumarganj Ayodhya (224229) India

2. Department of Aquaculture, College of Fisheries, Dholi-843121, RPCAU, Pusa, Bihar, India

3. Department of Fisheries Resource Management, College of Fisheries, Dholi-843121, RPCAU, Pusa, Bihar, India

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