The European aquaculture industry holds great promise as a provider of nutrient rich food to an increasing world population. To ensure a sustainable and continued growth in the production, there is a need for an increased focus directed towards the development of effective approaches to prevent and control diseases in aquaculture species. Functional feed ingredients that provide specific health benefits to the fish, are used in aquaculture today. Such ingredients are biologically active compounds, recovered from various sources including seafood processing byproducts like head, skin and bones. This project aims to develop novel functional feed ingredients for the aquaculture industry through facilitating the recovery and utilization of valuable bioactive peptides with predicted beneficial properties, from processing byproducts from the aquaculture industry. State of the art techniques within peptidomics and bioinformatics are being used to predict and release bioactive peptides in different fractions of by-products. Based on the predictions for optimal release of bioactive peptides a functional feed will be produced that will subsequently be tested for the desired effect on fish welfare. The results of the effect of the bioactive peptides are then reintroduced to the bioinformatics tool to increase the predictive strength. Hence, the project tries to connect available theoretical knowledge and lab-scale experiments to practical feed application and fish health.
The project has quantitatively and qualitatively identified the proteins available in various by-products from both salmon and white fish. Together with the research partner from Ghent University, NORCE has developed a bioinformatics tool that can be employed to predict the optimal enzymatic processing of by-products to release bioactive peptides. The tool has been tested on byproducts from salmon, seabass and seabream, and hydrolysates with predictive bioactivity have been produced in lab-scale. NORCE and UNIBIO (University of Bologna) has managed to establish in vitro platform for screening and testing the hydrolysates in different fish cell lines. The results from the in vitro analyses show that the generated bioinformatics tool can be employed to produce samples enriched for specific bioactivity. Moreover, the results have been used to improve the predictive strength of the bioinformatics tool. Our plan is to make both the platform and bioinformatics tool available as additional assistance and tools to the research field to further the understanding of effect and interaction of peptide-based bioactivity and fish health.
A major question in the project has been how to transfer the theoretical and lab-based knowledge to generate a functional food that impacts fish welfare. Based on the predictions from the bioinformatics tool on optimal processing of by-products to release bioactive peptides, NOFIMA has produced a large-scale hydrolysate. This bioactive hydrolysate has been used for feed production and subsequently in feeding trials with seabass/bream by UNIBIO in Italy. The results from these feeding trials show that the produced functional feed does not negatively affect fish welfare compared to a control (standard) feed. In fact, and interestingly, gene expression analysis of gut epithelial cells shows a stimulation of genes related to predicted bioactivity, indicating that the project has managed to generate a feed with a predicted bioactivity i.e a functional feed. Overall, the project demonstrates that there is a huge potential in a lab-based bioinformatics approach when developing functional feed for aquaculture
Oppnådde virkninger og effekter
Primært har prosjektet bidratt til økt samarbeid mellom ulike forskingsmiljøer i Europa. Prosjektet har også gitt deltagerne ny innsikt og kunnskap i forskningsfeltet, spesielt behovet for at fagfeltet kommer med felles løsninger på områder som begrenser bruken av moderne metodikk og videre fremgang i feltet.
Potensielle virkninger og effekter
Ved publisering av resultater vil prosjektet bidra med flere nye verktøy for forskningsmiljøet rundt bioaktivitet og funksjonelt for mer generelt. Dette gjelder blant annet innen in-vitro cellekultur testing hvor prosjektet har etablert nye funksjonelle metoder for genekspresjons studier i cellekultur linjer fra hvit og rød fisk. En fungerende formel for inkorporering av bioaktive peptider i funksjonelt fôr. Samt ett bioinformatikk verktøy for predikering av optimal enzym prosessering av prøver for å anrike for ønsket bioaktivitet.
The European aquaculture industry holds great promise as a provider of nutrient rich food to an increasing population. However, disease is a
major constraint to the development of this food sector. Thus, to ensure a sustaining and continued growth of the production, there is a
need for an increased focus directed towards the development of effective approaches to prevent and control diseases in aquaculture
species. One possibility is to develop functional feed ingredients that provide specific benefits to the fish. Such ingredients may be
biologically active compounds, recovered from seafood processing by-products.
This project aims to develop novel functional feed ingredients for the aquaculture industry through facilitating the recovery and utilization of valuable bioactive peptides from the salmon industry in Norway and the sea bass/sea bream industry in Italy. State of the art techniques
within peptidomics and bioinformatics (often referred to as the in silico approach) will be used to identify peptides with predicted anti-inflammatory, immunostimulatory or anti-microbial properties in the different fractions of by-products. Based on the results, targeted hydrolysis and processing of the by-products will be performed to obtain fractions enriched in the relevant bioactive peptides. Assessments will be made of the degree of purification and up-concentration required before inclusion of these fractions in the feed
formulations. The efficacy of the compounds as health promoting and disease-preventing ingredients will be assessed through in vitro
studies and in vivo fish feed trials.
The project brings together a multidisciplinary team of scientists holding competence within bioinformatics, peptidomics, molecular and
cellular biology, in vitro/in vivo assessment, aquaculture feed development, and bioprocessing, and represents a unique opportunity for knowledge transfer across competence fields and different aquaculture species.