Potential of microalgae as a sustainable feed ingredient for aquaculture

Senthil Nagappan, Probir Das, Mohammad AbdulQuadir, Mahmoud Thaher, Shoyeb Khan, Chandan Mahata, Hareb Al-Jabri, Ann Kristin Vatland, Gopalakrishnan Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


An increase in fish consumption, combined with a decrease in wild fish harvest, is driving the aquaculture industry at rapid pace. Today, farmed seafood accounts for about half of all global seafood demand for human consumption. As the aquaculture industry continues to grow, so does the market for aquafeed. Currently, some of the feed ingredients are coming from low-value forage fishes (fish meal) and terrestrial plants. The production of fish meal can't be increased as it would affect the sustainability and ecosystem of the ocean. Similarly, increasing the production of terrestrial plant-based feed leads to deforestation and increased freshwater use. Hence, alternative and environmentally sustainable sources of feed ingredients need to be developed. Microalgae biomasses represent potential feed source ingredients as the cell metabolites of these microorganisms contain a blend of essential amino acids, healthy triglycerides as fat, vitamins, and pigments. In addition to serving as bulk ingredient in aquafeed, their unique array of bioactive compounds can increase the survivability of farmed species, improve coloration and quality of fillet. Microalgae has the highest areal biomass productivities among photosynthetic organisms, including fodder crops, and thus has a high commercial potential. Also, microalgal production has a low water and arable-land footprint, making microalgal-based feed environmentally sustainable. This review paper will explore the potential of producing microalgae biomass as an ingredient of aquaculture feed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 20

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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