Published on 12 Dec 2022

NTU Scientists Develop Fish Feed That Shields Juvenile Asian Seabass From Lethal Bacteria - Prof Joachim Loo

We are pleased to share that Professor Joachim Loo has been featured in The Straits Times for his research on developing fish feeds that contain a novel blend of probiotics and nutrients to protect the juvenile Asian seabass from infection caused by the Streptococcus iniae (S. iniae) bacterium.

The supplements are covered with an edible coating that protects the probiotics from getting destroyed by the acid in the fish gut. Inside a 2mm-wide food pellet, the capsule of probiotics and nutrients is between 1 and 10 million microns in size, which is thinner than a strand of hair. For the fish to gain immunity against the pathogen, the medicinal probiotics and nutrients must travel farther down its gastrointestinal tract unscathed to be successfully utilised. At the destination, enzymes will break down the fish feed and coating to release the probiotics and nutrients where they are most effective.

Moving forward, Prof Loo and his team would be examining whether the mature seabass' diet can return to normal after they have become immune to the bacterium, allowing some costs to be saved for the farmers throughout the seabass’ whole lifespan as the special feed is expected to be pricier than the normal feed. 

This project is funded by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), under the Singapore Food Story ("SFS") R&D Programme, to develop probiotic- and nutrient-encapsulated fish feeds to increase food productivity.

Our heartiest congratulations to Prof Loo and his team for their scientific breakthrough towards enhancing the capability and capacity of the local agri-food industry.

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