By Ruby Gonzalez
A dietary supplementation of ginger root powder improves the performance of African mud catfish (Clarias gariepinus) fingerlings, according to a study conducted in Nigeria.
By Ruby Gonzalez
The inclusion level of one percent ginger root powder in the fish diet was recommended by authors, Adegbesan SI, Obasa SO, Akintokun AK, and Abdulraheem I, in their article published in the Journal of Aquaculture and Fisheries.
Among four diets, this posted the highest and best growth response in terms of percentage weight gained specific growth rate and apparent net protein utilization.
Inclusion of two percent could be antibacterial and antifungal and may improve gastrointestinal microbes.
The fingerlings were fed with 40 percent crude protein diets containing zero and three concentrations of one, two and three percent ginger root powder.
Fish fed with diet containing varying levels of ginger root powder posted better growth performance and had “greatly reduced” microbial population compared to the control group.
Data collected showed inverse correlations. Survival rate decreased as concentration of ginger root powder increased. The total bacterial counts and total fungal counts decreased as inclusion levels of the supplements increased which were different from the control.
Fish fed two percent and three percent ginger root powder recorded the highest mortality rate.
The higher levels of phytobiotics, they said, have lower palatability and could have caused the reduction in the total feed intake because of the presence of tannin in ginger root powder.
Reduction in survival rate in fish fed with ginger root powder diets in the experiment could also be a result of some phytochemicals present in the phytobiotics, the study said.
Phytobiotics, plant-derived products added to feed in order to improve performance, are valuable materials in promoting growth and reducing pathogenic diseases in cultured fish diets.
In preparing the fish diet, fresh rhizomes of ginger were dried and grinded. The powder was mixed directly with the basal diet and added into the diets. The compounded feeds were then pelletized before being sun-dried.
The study assessed the growth, nutrient utilization and anti-microbial potentials of cultured C gariepinus fed varying inclusion levels of ginger root powder.
The antimicrobial properties of ginger root powder were considered because catfish, like all fish, “live in microbe-rich environment and are vulnerable to invasion by pathogenic and opportunistic micro-organisms.”
Ginger rhizome has been reported to possess a broad spectrum of prophylactic and therapeutic activities, and is known to be beneficial to growth and immune systems in aquatic animals.