Novel application of microalgae in animal nutrition and human health
World population is estimated to reach 8.6 billion by 2030. The increasing population caused huge pressure on food supply which relies on staple crop production such as corn and soybean. However, microalgae as a novel generation of feedstock have drawn great attention due to their various advantages and applications. They can not only be supplemented in animal diets as protein ingredients but also be cultured to produce health beneficial phytochemicals such as astaxanthin and DHA for human consumption. Therefore, we conducted three studies in broiler chicks to: (1) measure the nutrient retention and digestibility of 10% Nannochloropsis oceanica as a protein ingredient; (2) investigate the bioavailability of microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis for producing astaxanthin enriched meat products and its effect against heat stress, and (3) explore the effect of microalgae Aurantiochytrium on growth performance, health status and meat production and quality. Our finding demonstrated that (1) nutrient retention and digestibility of 10% Nannochloropsis oceanica were largely unaffected except retention and digestibility of amino acid were decreased; (2) dietary Haematococcus pluvialis supplementation could enrich astaxanthin in meat products and change endogenous antioxidant defense, and (3) feeding up to 2% of Aurantiochytrium had no effect on growth performance, health status, and meat quality and production. In summary, dietary microalgae supplementation could be beneficial to animal nutrition and human health by providing potential protein feed ingredient, improving meat production and quality, and producing phytochemical-rich foods.
amino acid; astaxanthin; DHA; growth performance; meat quality; microalgae; Animal sciences
Brown, Dan L.; Qian, Shu-Bing
M.S., Animal Science
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis