Commercial mucopolysaccharides B-glucan and mannan oligosaccharide or MOS may soon be replaced as crustacean feed additives as the country’s researchers are looking into the possibility of replacing them with crustacean feeds with banana peels (Musa acuminata), water hyacinth leaves (Eichhornia crassipes) and a common field grass (Cynodon dactylon).
DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the research team, led by Dr. Ma. Carmen A. Ablan Lagman of De La Salle University-Genomics Laboratory, is implementing a project on “a rapid cost-effective method to screen potential sources of immunostimulants and growth promoting feed additives for Scylla serrata (mangrove crab) using a functional genomics approach”.
“Crustacean feeds with banana peels (Musa acuminata), water hyacinth leaves of (Eichhornia crassipes) and a common field grass (Cynodon dactylon) are currently being tested against commercial mucopolysaccharides B-glucan and mannan oligosaccharide or MOS as feed additive to improve the immune response of mangrove crabs to infection,” he reported on the DOSTv Facebook page.
He said the project has funding support from DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).
“Feed grade B- glucan and mannan oligopolysaccharide or MOS are currently used as additives for livestock and are being explored for use in fish feed. No commercial immunostimulant enriched feeds are currently in the market,” de la Peña said.
He noted that the current price of B-glucan and MOS ranges from P4,000 to 5,000 per kilogram (kg) from the supplier.
“The cost can be brought down to P300 to P500 per kg if novel sources of immuno-stimulus are used,” the DOST chief said.
He said the study chose the potential sources of feed additives to develop from over 26 known potential sources from the literature. “Potential sources were screened for mucopolysaccharide content and free radical scavenging ability.”