This study evaluated the suitability of flaxseed oil as a source of supplemental dietary lipid for fingerlings of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Triplicate groups of the 30 fingerlings held under identical culture conditions were fed twice daily by iso-nitrogenous, iso-calorific and iso-lipidic diets for 8 weeks. Experimental diets consisted of 30.2% protein, 18.6 kJ g(-1) energy and 16.5% lipid from fish oil (FO), flaxseed oil (FxO) and 1:1 blends of the oils (FFxO). Moisture, ash, protein, final body weight, specific growth rate, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, survival and hepatosomatic index were not affected by treatments but the percent of lipids was significantly highest in fish fed the flaxseed oil diet (FxOD). The condition factors of fingerlings reared on FxOD and fish and flaxseed oils diet (FFxOD) were significantly lower than those fed the fish oil diet (FOD). Protein efficiency ratio (PER) was significantly higher than those fed the FOD and FFxOD. Whole body fatty acid compositions mirrored those of diet treatments. The highest amounts of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) were detected in fish fed 100% FO, which was significantly different from other treatments. In all treatments polyunsaturated fatty acids/saturated fatty acids (PUFAs/SFAs) and n-6/n-3 ratios were higher than 0.45 and lower than 4, respectively. Present results indicate the fingerlings can be reared on diets in which FO has been replaced with FxO, with no significant effects on fish performance.
Keywords: Body composition; Fatty acid; Fish oil replacement; Rainbow trout; Vegetable oil.