The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture Bamidgeh 56(3), 2004, 188-199

SUCCESSFUL REPLACEMENT OF FISHMEAL BY PLANT 
PROTEINS IN DIETS FOR THE GILTHEAD SEABREAM, 
SPARUS AURATA L.


George Wm. Kissil* and Ingrid Lupatsch

Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, National Center for Mariculture, 
P.O. Box 1212, Eilat 88112, Israel



(Received 25.2.04, Accepted 3.6.04)


Key words: corn gluten, fishmeal, fishmeal substitute, gilthead seabream diets, soy protein, 
wheat gluten



Abstract


Soy protein concentrate, wheat gluten, and corn gluten meal were evaluated in combination and 
as sole dietary protein sources in diets for gilthead seabream. A growth trial and digestibility 
determinations demonstrated the effectiveness of these plant proteins as alternatives to fishmeal. 
Digestibility trials indicated superior protein digestibility for soy protein (92%), wheat gluten 
(96%), and corn gluten (90%) in comparison with fishmeal (86%), while energy digestibility was 
higher than fishmeal (84%) only in wheat gluten (91%; it was 75% for soy protein and 72% for 
corn gluten). For the growth trial, eight isonitrogenous and isoenergetic (as-fed basis) diets were 
formulated with differences in the protein sources. Growth in the range of 40-130 g was superior to the fishmeal control with the diet containing wheat gluten but inferior in the diets containing soy protein concentrate or corn gluten meal. Diets that replaced 25-100% of the fishmeal with a mixture containing equal portions of all three plant proteins outperformed the control with a 9-16% greater weight gain and 4-10% lower feed conversion ratio. The use of soy protein or corn gluten as the sole protein source in diets for seabream is not recommended but their use in combination with wheat gluten can provide a partial or complete alternative to fishmeal. However, the cost of supplemental arginine made replacement economic at only the lowest replacement level (25%). An in-depth evaluation of the need for this amino acid in the protein mixture could significantly affect the feasibility of using higher replacement levels.


* Corresponding author.  E-mail: kissil@agri.huji.ac.il

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