"There is an urgent need to replace fish oil (FO) and meal (FM) from wild stocks in aquaculture diets with more sustainable alternatives, being vegetable oils (VO) the primary candidates. However, these oils are devoid of essential n-3 long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) and can be particularly rich in n-6 PUFA, leading to imbalances in the n-6/n-3 ratio. This situation is similar to what is presently observed in other animal production sectors as well as in human nutrition. It is relatively well established how these changes in dietary lipid composition might affect lipid metabolism but potential effects on the regulation of appetite and food intake mediated by gastrointestinal and neuropeptides are possible and have been hardly investigated. This will be the objective of the present project, which will employ an interdisciplinary approach combining traditional nutritional and physiological studies with molecular analyses to evaluate potential impacts of more sustainable feed formulations on the regulation of food intake, while also uncovering the mechanisms behind it. The knowledge gained from this project is of high scientific and socio-economical importance to the future development and expansion of the European aquaculture industry. In addition, if physiological mechanisms of regulation of appetite and satiety in fish are similar to those in mammals, as has been suggested, knowledge gained might be applicable to other animal production sectors and even human nutrition, including studies of nutritional disorders (e.g. obesity). Finally, the effects of FO replacement by VO in aquaculture diets on lipid metabolism have been the research focus of the candidate in the past 3 years. The present project would thus enable the transfer of knowledge and competence from a northern European to a Mediterranean aquaculture context, while allowing the reintegration within an Institution with high opportunities for professional development and stabilization."
Fields of science
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call