Replacement of fish oil in plant based diets for Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei)

Mayra L. González-Félix, Fabio Soller Dias da Silva, D Allen Davis, Tzachi M Samocha, Timothy C Morris, Josh S Wilkenfeld, Martin Perez-Velazquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Due to economic pressures from high fish oil prices and from buyers and consumers requiring sustainable practices, the use of high levels of fish oils in aquafeeds is no longer desirable. The present study evaluated the replacement of marine fish oil (MFO) with alternative oils in a plant based diet. Litopenaeus vannamei juveniles (1.55g) were stocked into 650L circular tanks at 26 shrimp tank-1 and fed 13 experimental diets over a 58-day growth trial. Diets were formulated with soybean oil (SO) as replacement for MFO at inclusion ratios of 100:0, 50:50, 40:60, 30:70, 20:80, and 10:90 as MFO:SO. The next series of diets were formulated to keep n-3/n-6 ratios close to the ratio attained at 50% MFO replacement while removing MFO, this was done by increasing linolenic acid content through the use of linseed oil (LO), resulting in the following MFO:SO:LO ratios, 40:53.4:6.6, 30:56.9:13.1, 20:60:20, and 10:63.7:26.3. Three additional diets were evaluated which included a high LO (10:90 as MFO:LO) and a high soybean oil diet using a low linolenic acid acid soybean oil (LLSO) at a 10:90 ratio of MFO:LLSO. The final diet was a commercial diet which served as a reference. The results showed no statistically significant differences in final mean weight, growth, survival or FCR values of shrimp fed the various diets. Fatty acid (FA) profiles of tail muscle form shrimp fed the various lipid sources in general conformed to the lipids of the feed. Shrimp fed Diet 11, with 19.81mg of linolenic acid per gram of diet had the highest amount of this FA in shrimp tail muscle (5.61mg g-1 wet tissue) and a relatively high n-3/n-6 ratio of 1.15, but at the same time, practically the lowest content of eicosapentaenoic (4.07mgg-1 wet tissue) and docosahexaenoic (2.04mgg-1 wet tissue) acid among the dietary treatments. This response is typical for animals that cannot elongate and desaturate poly-unsaturated into highly-unsaturated FA (HUFA). As shrimp production was not influenced by lipid source or n-3/n-6 ratio, clearly a range of lipids could be used to support growth. However, as the optimal dietary approach for humans is to consume preformed n-3 HUFA by eating seafood, it would be best for farmed shrimp to retain high levels of n-3 HUFA and high n-3/n-6 ratios as found in wild caught shrimp.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)152-158
Number of pages7
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Nov 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to express their appreciation for the assistance provided by reviewers, staff at Auburn University Claude Peteet Marine Laboratory (Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA) and the Texas AgriLife Research Mariculture Project in Port Aransas, Texas, USA. The funding for this research was provided in part by American Soybean Association Soy in aquaculture program and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NAO60AR4170191 ). The mention of trademarks or proprietary products does not constitute an endorsement of the product by Auburn University and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products that may also be suitable.


  • Fatty acids
  • Fish oil replacement
  • HUFA
  • Litopenaeus vannamei
  • Shrimp


Dive into the research topics of 'Replacement of fish oil in plant based diets for Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this