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Effect of Stocking Large Channel Catfish in a Biofloc Technology Production System on Production and Incidence of Common Microbial Off-Flavor Compounds

Bartholomew W Green and Kevin K Schrader

Density-dependent production and incidence of common microbial off-flavors caused by geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol were investigated in an outdoor biofloc technology production system stocked with stockersize (217 g/fish) channel catfish at 1.4, 2.1, or 2.8 kg/m3. Individual weight at harvest ranged from 658-829 g/fish and was inversely related to stocking density. Net fish yield ranged from 3.8-5.4 kg/m3, and increased linearly as stocking density increased. The percentage of sub-marketable fish (<0.57 kg/fish) increased linearly with increasing stocking rate. Mean total feed consumption increased linearly with stocking density, but feed consumed per fish was inversely related to stocking density. Feed conversion ratio did not differ significantly among treatments. Concentrations of geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol in biofloc water were low throughout the study. All sampled fillets contained low concentrations of geosmin and 2-methylisobornel, but these fillets likely would not be deemed as having objectionable “earthy” or “musty” off-flavors when evaluated by trained processing plant flavor testers because of the low concentrations present. Data from this study combined with data from our two previous studies provide strong evidence that the incidence of geosmin- and 2-methylisoborneol-related off-flavor episodes is low in the BFT production system.