Monday, 21 August 2017

Food security and …olives

by Ioannis Zabetakis, Lecturer on Food Lipids, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

My relationship with olives is a precious one. Some memorable events in this path: reading about olive oil when I was a primary school student, analysing olive oil in my BSc years, planting my own olive trees in our garden and then talking to my kids about Olympic Games and olives where the winners were not given any medals but an olive wreath

Ioannis Zabetakis

In my Academic research later, I developed a long standing interest in the by-products of olive industry and olive pomace (OP) in particular. OP is the main agricultural by-product of olive industry; because of its nature, it is a major environmental issue for all the olive-producing countries.

Research on the waste-management issues of OP has been active over the 15 years and all the available data suggest that OP could be exploited as an alternative dietary lipid source in compounded fish feeds resulting in the formulation of functional fish feeds and aquacultured fish according to the EU legislation (EC 1924/2006).

Moreover OP can also be used in agriculture by inclusion in animal feeds without attenuating animal performance and meat quality. We have developed a patented novel fish feed and fish based on the valorisation of OP (Nasopoulou et al., 2011).

In some exciting relevant developments, the potential of dry olive cake in a practical diet for juvenile hybrid tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus × Oreochromis aereus, has been recently reported (Harmantepe et al., 2016).

A feeding trial was carried out to evaluate the effects of olive cake (OC) on growth, feed utilisation, digestibility of nutrient, haematological values and some blood chemistry parameters of juvenile hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus × Oreochromis aereus).

The best feed conversion rate and protein efficiency rate were obtained from the fish fed with the control and OC12 diets. Growth performance, feed conversion rate and protein efficiency rate of fish fed diets with OC incorporation levels of more than 12 percent tended to decrease significantly (P <0.05) compared to the control and OC12 diet groups.

To read the full article and for references, click HERE.
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