Work Package 2

WP 2: Development and validation of adequate and innovative delivery vectors for nutrients and dietary supplements


A major concern with the use of low FM and FO feeds is the possible reduction in the contents and availability of certain micro-nutrients and an imbalance of others. Knowledge of the nutrient requirements for each of the European farmed species is limited (WP3). This is particularly so during early life stages where, it is still common practice in commercial hatcheries to rely on live prey for fist-feeding, with a gap in the definition of nutritional requirements of larval fish. Moreover, there are also problems linked with the stability and bioavailability of micronutrients or feed additives, aggravated during the larval stage due to the poor development of the digestive system, whereas the potential of novel delivery vectors has not yet been explored.

Although several delivery vectors have been recently developed in the agro-feed industry their applications in fish feed are still scarce. Delivery through micro- or nano-encapsulation of nutrients and feed additives would protect these products during processing and feeding, allow a better control of their utilisation by fish and even differentiated release.


The main goal of WP2 is to develop and validate adequate and innovative delivery vectors for macro and micronutrients and dietary supplements (including essential trace elements, vitamins) that will allow producing optimised alternative aquafeed formulations for the different farmed species over their life cycle, particularly during early stages.

Planned activities:

  • To develop delivery vectors for nutrients during very early life stages
  • To validate newly developed delivery vectors for nutrient and feed additives at early life stages
  • To validate newly developed delivery vectors for targeted and controlled release of nutrients in juveniles
  • To develop new larval inert diets as a complete delivery vector for nutrients during larval stages to completely substitute live preys with optimised formulation and reduced FM and FO, but simultaneously supplemented with micro-nutrients such as trace elements and vitamins, as well as essential amino acids and fatty acids

Expected results:

  • Development of adequate/appropriate controlled release devices and protocols as practical operational procedures to allow nutrient fortification of batches of fish eggs, embryos and yolk-sac larvae. This task will be closely linked to WP6 by allowing a direct nutritional intervention in a new developmental window
  • Effective new technology for delivery of nutrients in fish diets and live food enrichments
  • An appropriate and cost-effective delivery vector for targeted and controlled release of selected minerals and vitamins to complement alternative diets for juveniles
  • Provide a microdiet to be used as a delivery tool for nutrients to determine their requirements during larval development in WP3 in microdiets with alternative ingredients to FM / FO as protein and lipid sources. Besides, it will allow including larval stages in marine fish studies to complete the long term feeding with alternative feeds along the whole life cycle
  • Define the most appropriate technology for first feeding diets production, as well as the best combinations of nutrients for larval rearing of sea bream and seabass

Lead Partner:

Universidad De Las Palmas De Gran Canaria (ULPGC)
Contact Person: Marisol Izquierdo
Email: mizquierdo(at)


Logos of partners playing a role in this WP


partner 4 logo csic 58     partner 12 ulpgc - policroma300cmyk new

partner 6 haki hakilogo white     logo insubria con dbsv     logo ccmar eng use eng version   

biomar short 4c neg      logosparos cmyk     logo adsa3


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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 /2007-2013) under grant agreement no 288925. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use which maybe made of the information contained therein.