Through the improvement of cost-effective aquafeeds, NUTRIMU aims at maximizing fish growth performance and feed utilization, while minimizing environmental impact and cost of feeding, reducing chemicals as prophylactic agents use in aquaculture, and decreasing mortalities due to opportunistic pathogens. Attention is also given to nutritional strategies for improving animal welfare, gut integrity and immune status, thus reducing fish susceptibility to diseases and stressful rearing conditions.
NUTRIMU also aims to contribute for deeper insights on fish nutrient requirements, metabolic utilization of nutrients, nutrients-innate immune system interaction and neuroendocrine-immune interactions, therefore gaining basic information regarding physiological aspects of comparative animal nutrition and immunobiology. This research team also seeks to study potential ingredients for use in aquafeeds, potential use of functional ingredients, and gut microbiota-nutrients interaction, thus contributing for scientific sound improvement of fish feeds and fish health. The development of probiotics with functional properties and that promote disease resistance, as well as the development of oral vaccines to be included in feeds are also pursued.
Main research activities are mainly directed towards the following topics: Protein and amino acid requirements; Carbohydrate and lipids utilization and metabolism; Evaluation of feedstuffs alternative to fish meal and fish oil; Utilization of functional ingredients in aquafeeds; Nutrition and gut microbiology; Nutritional immunobiology; Host/pathogen and neuroendocrine/immune interactions.
Fish Nutrition and Welfare Co-PI: Helena Peres