Development of Alternative Sustainable Fish Feeds to Promote Human Health Using Novel Non-Conventional Indigenous Ingredients

Project Summary

The project aims to improve content of omega 3 fatty acids especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) of farmed tilapia and carps in Africa and India using feeds developed from novel indigenous non-conventional feed ingredients.

Hosting Unit
College of Agriculture
Hosting Department
Department of Animal Aquaculture and Range Sciences
Project Leader
This research effort is led by Professor Douglas Tocher of University of Stirling in United Kingdom and other researchers from United Kingdom (Scottish Association for Marine Science), India (Delhi University, Goa University, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies and Delhi Technical University), Tanzania (Sokoine University of Agriculture) and Kenya (Machakos University, Aquaculture Association of Kenya, Ministry of Agriculture.

Dr.Nazael A.Madalla, a fish nutritionist at Department of Animal,Acquaculture and Range Sciences in SUA is a principal investigator in Tanzania. The project is also known by its acronym SNIPH which stands for Sustainable New Ingredients to Promote Health​​​​​​​.
Funding Agency

Fund is provided by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-Newton Fund partnership

Project Status
Completed Project
Project Completion Date
The project was mplemented for 36 months from April 2016 to March 2019
Contact information

Dr. Nazael A. Madalla

Mr. Stephano A. Karoza

Department of Animal, Aquaculture & Range Sciences
Sokoine University of Agriculture
​​​​​​​P. O. Box 3004, Morogoro, Tanzania

Project Descriptions

A number of aquatic macrophytes (freshwater and marine) and microbial species will be evaluated in terms of their ability to enhance omega 3 content in tilapia and carps. Selected ingredients are envisaged to be more sustainable as they do not compete with existing human food resources or animal feedstuffs.

The project is comprehensive combining aspects of both biological and social sciences along the aquaculture value chain. The project is funded by BBSRC-Newton Fund partnership and it involves researchers from Tanzania, Kenya, India and United Kingdom.

Project Objectives

Main objective is to improve n-3 LC-PUFA and antioxidant status of farmed carp and tilapia in India and Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) for the benefit of poor local populations using indigenous, non-conventional feed ingredients

Specific Objective 1: To review existing knowledge of nutrient content and composition of a range of non-conventional ingredients and assess their utility as feed ingredients for fish.

Specific Objective 2: To assess the availability and feasibility of potential novel non-conventional feed ingredients in terms of supply.

Specific Objective 3: To characterise the nutrient content and nutritional quality including fatty acid compositions of selected novel feed ingredients.

Specific Objective 4: To investigate the ability of selected novel feed ingredients to support growth, development and health of farmed fish and to increase the n-3 LC- PUFA content of the harvested fish and thus their potential to improve health of local consumers.

Specific Objective 5: To assess the socio-economic viability of the non–conventional ingredients as components of fish feeds and provide an analysis of cost-benefit to the local populations.

Specific Objective 6: To provide the information required to determine the potential of the novel feed ingredients for further widespread application and industrial and commercial scale-up.

Work Packages

WP 1. Review of existing knowledge

OUTCOME: peer-reviewed literature providing a comprehensive review of existing information on macrophytes, microbes and macroalgae in terms of their biochemical and nutrient compositions and use as feed ingredients for food animals including fish.

WP 2. Sourcing, analysis and assessment of novel indigenous ingredients

OUTCOME: (1) Information on local novel ingredients providing the data required for the initial assessment of feasibility of their use as feed ingredients will be available. (2) A detailed database of the nutrient, fatty acid and amino acid compositions of novel ingredients.

WP 3. Dietary trials in target fish species

OUTCOMES: (1) Volumes of indigenous local ingredients suitable for feed manufacture. (2) A range of novel feeds for carps and tilapia using indigenous local ingredients. (3) Knowledge of the ability of the novel feed ingredients to support growth, feed efficiency and fish health in farmed carp. (4) Knowledge of the ability of the novel feed ingredients to support growth, feed efficiency and fish health in farmed tilapia. (5) Nutrient compositions of fish grown on novel ingredients with particular reference to n-3 LC-PUFA content and possible beneficial health effects for local consumers. (6) Effects of novel feeds and ingredients on fish metabolism.

WP 4. Assessing the acceptability and socio-economic viability of non–conventional ingredients as components of fish feeds and potential benefits for local populations

OUTCOME: Assessment of the feasibility and viability of the novel ingredients in terms of economic and social effects and consequences.

WP 5. Training and Knowledge Exchange

OUTCOMES: Transfer of knowledge of raw ingredient analyses, fish feed formulation, fish dietary trials, and analyses of trial outcomes (fish composition, health and nutritional quality) to key stakeholders in developing countries.

It is anticipated that at the end of the project there will be development of new value chains for carp and tilapia culture in India and Africa with new cost-effective feeds based on indigenous, locally produced and sustainable ingredients that can deliver health benefits to both the fish and, especially, the local populations consuming the farmed products.