| More

The use of algae in animal nutrition

Views: 2552 Downloads: 1177


In this review article the use of algae as feed in animal nutrition is being examined. The algae evolved on earth 3.5 billion years ago. They are primitive, generally aquatic and photosynthetic organisms, which range in size from 0,2-2,0 μιτι in diameter -microalgae (phytoplankton) up to 60 m length- macroalgae and may divide once or more per day. Algae are classified using a combination of characteristics in the chlorophyta, phaeophyta, chrysophyta, rhodophyta (all of them are macroalgae), pyrrhophyta and cyanophyta (they are microalgae). The chemical composition of algae varies over a wide range and depends on environmental conditions. Algae are necessary in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. They can be used as biodisel from their bio-lipid oil, as feed additives (alginates, carrageenans, agar, pigments), as therapeutic agents, as cosmetics, as organic fertilizer. Moreover, edible algae are considered sources of minerals and a complementary source of food protein for human -especially infunctional foods and animal nutrition, both in ruminants and monogastric animals. Algae in the rations of lactating cows increased milk production, the average milk protein, the amount of lactose, and prolonged the lactation period, while algae rich in (n-3) fatty acids effected positively on this fatty acid content of milk. In calves the dietary algae en-hanced immune function and improved carcass characteristics. Regarding the ewes, the algae nutrition affected milk fat composition and their dairy products. Researches on monogastric animals showed that the dietary supplementation of algae rich in docosqexaenoic acid increased its content in muscle tissue of rabbits, heavy pigs (live weight around 160 kg) and in the egg yolk of laying hens. In addition, algae in poultry diets can be used effectively as pigment sources both in egg yolk and in broiler skin and shanks. Algae have been found also to be a valuable food for fish farmed by acquaculture. However, further investigation is needed concerning the use of algae in human and animal nutrition.


Algae; nutrition; human; cows; eves; pig; hen; broiler; fish

Full Text:



Bach SJ, Wang Y, McAlister TA (2008). Effect of feeding sun-dried seaweed (Asco-phyllum nodosu) on fecal shedding of Escherichia coli 0157: H7 by feed pot cattle and on growth performance of lamps 142:17-32.

Battaglini M (1979). Algae and yeasts for rabbits. Coniglicolt. 16:39-40.

Becker EW (1994). Micro-algae: Biotechnology and Microbiology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: p. 293.

Becker EW (2007) Microalgae as a source of protein. Biotechnology Advances 25: 207-210.

Bold HC, Wynne MJ (1985). Introduction to the Algae: Structure and Reproduction. 2nd ed. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: pp. 706.

Borowitzka MA (1988). Fats, oils and hydrocarbons. In: Micro-algal Biotechnology, ed MA Borowitzka & LJ Borowitzka, Cambridge University Press: pp. 257-287.

Braden KW, Blanton JR, Montgomery JL, van Santen E, Allen VGand Miller MF (2007). Tasco supplementation: effects on carcass characteristics, sensory attributes and retail display shelf-life.

Journal Animal Science 85: 754-768.

Carrillo S, Lopez E, Casas MM, Avila E, Castillo RM, Carranco ME, Calvo C, Pèrez-Gil F (2008). Potential use of seaweeds in the laying hen ration to improve the quality of n-3 fatty acid enriched eggs. Journal of Applied Phycology 20: 271-278.

Christaki E, Florou-Paneri P, Giannenas E, Botsoglou Ν (2006). The effect of dietary supplementation of algae extract (Ascophyllum nodosum) on performance of broilers. 10th Greek Veterinary Conference, Athens.

Chowdhury SA, Huque KS, Khatum M, Quamrun Ν (1995). Study on the use of algae as a substitute for oil cake for growing calves. Livestock Research for Rural Development 6: 8-16.

Colla LM, Maccillo-Baisch AL, Costa JA (2008). Spirulina platensis effects of the levels of total cholesterol, HDL and triacylglycerols in rabbits fed with a hypercholesterolemic diet. Brazilia, Archives of Biology and Technology 51: 35-43.

Dao T-T, Tran Q-T (1979). Use of Azolla in rice production in Vietnam. In: Nitrogen and Rice, International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, Philippines: pp. 395-405.

Dawczynski C, Schubert R, Jahreis G (2007). Amino acids, fatty acids and dietary fibre in edible seaweed products. Food Chemistry 103:891-899.

Dixon PS (1973). Biology of the Phodophyta. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. p. 232.

Elmore JS, Cooper SL, Enser M, Mottram DS, Sinclair LA, Wilkinson RG, Wood JD (2005). Dietary manipulation of fatly acid composition in lamb meat and its effect on the volatile aroma

compound of grilled lamb. Meat Science 69: 233-242.

FDA (2004). GRAS: Time-Tested and Trusted, Food Ingredients. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (on line: http//wwwfda.gov/fdac/features/2004/204-gras.html, accessed July 5 2007).

Fleurence J (1999). Seaweed proteins: Biochemical nutritional aspects and potential uses. Trends in Food Science and Technology 10:25-28.

Franklin ST, Martin KR, Baer RJ, Schingoethe DJ, Hippen AR (1999). Dietary marine algae (Schizochytrium sp.). Increases concentrations of conjugated linoleic, docosahexaenoic and transvaccenic acids in milk dairy cows. Journal of Nutrition, 129:2048-2054.

Ginzberg A, Cohen M, Sod-Moriah UA, Shany S, Rosenshtzauch A, Arad SM (2000). Chickens fed with biomass of the red microalga Porphyridium sp. have reduced blood cholesterol level and

modified fatly acid composition in egg yolk. Journal of Applied Phycology 12: 325-330.

Goni I, Gudiel-Urvano M, Saura-Calixto F (2002). In vitro determination of digestible and unabailable protein in edible seaweeds. Journal of Science, Food and Agriculture 82:1850-1854.

Grigorova S, Surdjiiska S, Banskalieva V, Dimitrov G (2006). The effect of biomass from green algae of chlorella genus on the biochemical characteristics of table eggs. Journal Central European Agriculture 7:111-116.

Grinstead GS, Tokach MD, Dritz SS, Goodband RD, Nelssen JL (2000). Effects of spirulina platensis on growth performance of weanling pigs. Animal Feed Science and Technology 83: 237-247.

Gudiel-Urbano M, Goni I (2002). Effect of edible seaweeds (Undaria pinnitafida and Porphyra tenera) on the metabolic activities of intestinal microflora in rats. Nutri-tion Research 22: 323-331.

Halama D (1990). Single cell protein. In: Non-conventional feeds stuffs in the nutrition of arm animals, ed. Kolman Boda, Elsevier Science Publishing Company, New York: pp. 34-49.

Harlin MM, Darley WM (1988). The algae: an overview. In: Algae and Human Affairs ed. CA Lembi and JR Waaland, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: pp 3-27.

Herber SM, Van Elswyk ME (1996). Dietary marine algaepromotes efficient deposition of n-3 fatly acids for the production of enriched shell eggs. Poultry Sci 75:1501-1507.

Hudson BJF, Karis IG (1974). The lipids of the alga Spirulina. Journal of Science, Food and Agriculture 25: 759-763.

Hundley JM, Ing RB (1956). Algae as sources of lysine and threonine in supplementing wheat and bread diets. Science 124:536-537.

Indegaard M, Minsaas J (1991). Animal and human nutrition. In: Seaweed resources in Europe: uses and potential, ed. MD Guiry and G Blunden, John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Chichester. Jassby A (1988). Some public health aspects of microalgal products. In: Algae and Human Affairs, ed. CA Lembi and JR Waaland, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: pp. 181-202.

Jensen A (1993). Present and future needs for algae and algal products. Hydrobiologia 260:15-23.

Kulpys J, Paulauskas E, Simkus A, Jeresiunuas A (2009). The influence of weed spirulina platensis on production and profitability of milking cows. Veterinarija ir zootechnika 46: 68.

Lahaye M (1991). Marine algae as sources of fibers: Determination of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber contents in some sea vegetables. Journal of Science, Food and Agriculture 54:587-594.

Lewis JG, Stanley NF, Guist GG (1988). Commercial production and applications of algal hydrocolloids. In: Algae and Human Affairs. ed CA Lembi and JR Waaland, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: pp. 205-236.

Lipstein B, Talpaz H (1984). Sewage-grown algae as a source of pigments for broilers. British Poultry Science 25:159-165.

Margulis L (1981). Symbiosis in Cell Evolution. W.H. Freeman and Co, San Francisco 419 pp.

Marriot NG, Garret JE, Sims MD, Abrul JR (2002). Composition of pigs fed a diet with docosahexaenoic acid. J. Muscle Foods 13:265-277.

Marshall H (2007). Micro-algae as a superfood source: Phytoplankton for future nutrition. Vegetarian Issues (Jun): 1-2.

Mattox KR, Stewart KD (1984). Classification of the green algae: a concept based on comparative cytology. In: Systematics of the Green Algae, ed. DEG Irvine and DM John. Systematics Association Special vol. 27 Academic Press, London: pp. 29-72.

McHugh DJ (2003). A guide to the seaweed industry FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No 441 Rome. Mustafa MG, Nakagawa H (1995). A review: dietary benefits of algae as an additive in fish feed. The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture 47:155.162.

Mustafa MG, Wakamatsu S, Takeda TA, Umino T, Nakagawa H (1995). Effects of algae meal as feed additive on growth, feed efficiency and body composition in Red Sea Bream. Fisheries

Sciences 61: 25-28.

National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany (2008). http://botany.si.edu/projects/algae/herbarium.htm [Retrieved 19 December 2008].

Nigam BP, Venkataramam LV, Seibel LV, Brummer W, Seiler JM and Stephan H (1985). Addition of algae to wheat bread and wheat extrudates. Getreide, Mehl und Brot 39:53-56.

Nonomura AM (1988). A future of phycotechnology. In: Algae andHuman Affairs, ed CA Lembi and JR Waaland, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: pp. 529-552.

Oliveira MN, Freitas ALP, Carvalho AFU, Sampaio TMT, Farias DF, Teixeita DIA, Gouveia ST, Pereira JG, Sena MM (2009). Nutritive and non-nutritive attributes of washed-up seaweeds from the coast of Cear , Brasil. Food Chemistry 115: 254-259.

Or-Rashid NM, Kramer JKG, Wood MA, McBride BW (2008). Supplemental algal meal alters the ruminai trans-18:1 fatty acid and conjugated linoleic acid composition in cattle. Journal Animal Science 86:187-196.

Papadopoulos G, Goulas C, Apostolaki E, Abril R (2002). Effects of dietary supplements of algae containing polyunsaturated fatly acids, on milk yield and the composition of milk products in dairy ewes. Journal of Dairy Research 69: 357-365.

Peiretti PG, Meineri G (2008). Effects of diets with increasing levels of Spirulina platensis on the performance and apparent digestibility in growing rabbits. Livestock Science 118:173-177.

Raju KVS, Sreemannarayanna Ο (1995). Feeding of Ulvafasciata to rabbits-feed efficiency and carcass characteristics. Indian Vet. Journal 72:1331-1332.

Rehman Z, Shah WH (2004). Thermal heat processing effects on antinutrients, protein and starch digestibility of food legumes. Food Chemistry 91: 327-331.

Rupérez Ρ (2002). Mineral content of edible marine seaweeds. Food Chemistry 79: 23^267

Sardi L, Martelli G, Lambertini L, Parisini Ρ, Mordenti A (2006). Effects of a dietary supplement of DHA-rich marine algae on Italian heavy pig production parameters. Livestock Science 103:95-103.

Senthil A, Mamatha BS, Mahadevaswamy M (2005). Effect of using seaweed (eucheulma) powder on the quality of fish cutlet. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 56: 327-335.

Simkus A, Oberauskas V, Laugalis J, Zelvyté R, Monkeviciené I, Sederevicius A (2007). The effect of weed spirulina platensis on the milk production in cows. Veterinarija ir zootechnika 38: 60.

Simoons FJ (1991). Seaweeds and other algae food in China: A cultural and historical inquiry. CRC Press: pp. 179-190.

Singh AP, Avramis CA, Kramer JK, Marangoni AG (2004). Algal meal supplementation of the cows' diet alters the physical properties of milk fat. Journal of Dairy Research 71: 66-73.

Soeder CJ (1986). An historical outline of applied algology. In: ed. A Richmond, Handbook of Microalgal Mass Cultures, CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Spoehr HA, Milner HW (1949). The chemical composition of Chrorella. Effect of environmental conditions. Plant Physiology 24:120-1497

Steidinger KA, Vargo GA (1988). Marine dinoflagellate blooms: dynamics and impacts. In: Algae and Human Affairs, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: pp. 373-401.

Stephenson WA (1974). Seaweed in Agriculture and Horticulture 3rd ed. Bargyla and Glyver Rateaver Conservation Gardening and Farming Ser. C Reprints, Pauma Valley, CA: pp. 241.

Sumita E, Kawabata A, Fujioka Y (1936). The influence of kelp meal feed on the iodine contents of the hen's eggs. Proc. 6th World's Poultry Congress, Berlin 343.

Tassinari M, Mordenti AL, Testi S, Zotti A (2002). Esperienze sulla possibilità di arrichire con la dieta la carye di coniglio di LCPUFA n-3, Prog. Nutr. 4:119-124.

Tseng CK (1981). Commercial cultivation. In: The Biology of Seaweeds, ed. CS Loban and MJ Wynne. Botanical Monographs, vol. 17. University of California Press, Berkeley: pp. 680-725.

USD A United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service (2001). Nutrient database for standard reference, Release 14: New York.

Vasconcelos IM, Oliveira JTA (2004). Antinutritional properties of plant lectins. Toxi-con 44: 385-403.

Wharton RA, Smernoff DT, Averner MM (1988). Algae in space. In: Algae and Human Affairs, ed CA Lembi and JR Waaland, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: pp. 485-509.

Yoshida M, Hoshii H (1982). Nutritive value of new type of chlorella for poultry feed. Japanese Poultry Science 19: 56-58.


  • There are currently no refbacks.