Potential utilisation of farmed freshwater mussels (Anodonta anatina and Unio mancus) in Italy

Benedetto Sicuro, Silvia Mioletti, Cesarina Abete, S. Amadeo, Elsa Panini, G. Forneris


The aim of this work is the chemical characterisation of most common Italian freshwater mussels, the evaluation of mussel meal as a partial
substitute of fish meal in aquaculture feeds and other possible utilisations of freshwater mussels. This study was carried out in Avigliana Lakes, NW Italy, where a total biomass of 294 kg of Anodonta anatina and 129 kg of Unio mancus was collected from 2003 to 2005.
Proximate analysis, amino acid, glycosaminoglicans and heavy metals concentration (Ar2+, Cd2+, Cr2+, Hg, Pb2+) were carried out. An in vivo digestibility trial was planned utilising 2 fish feeds with different levels of freshwater mussel meal inclusion (20 and 50%; fed20 and fed50) and a control feed fish meal-based. The apparent digestibility (ADC) of the experimental feeds was high (fed 20: ADC = 70% 1.5; fed50 ADC = 68 % 3.2) and comparable to control diet (ADC = 73,15% 1,5). Evident differences have been found between gravid and non gravid mussel composition (Non gravid: crude protein = 51.4%; crude lipids = 8.5%, ash = 19.1%. Gravid: crude protein = 39%; crude lipids = 4.1%, ash = 36.8 % ). Considering result obtained in digestibility trial, mussel meal seems to be an interesting substitute of fish meal in fish feeds.
Key words: Freshwater mussel farming, glycosaminoglicans, bivalves, digestibility.

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