Black-eyed peas eaten by grouper

Left to right: Sensory-evaluators being oriented by Ms. PS Eusebio (standing); two types of grouper meat, steamed and in sinigangSome AQD-reared grouper stocks have reportedly been eating black-eyed peas, also known as cowpeas or Vigna unguiculata, as part of their diet.

This is the subject of a study under the Marine Fish Program  entitled “White cowpea meal as alternative source of protein for grouper Epinephelus fuscoguttatus”, by PS Eusebio with RM Coloso, JP BiƱas, and M Tesorero. The study aims to promote sustainable aquaculture through the use of alternative plant protein sources that can partially replace fishmeal in the diet.

The RD conference room was filled with AQD staff last 24 February for a sensory-evaluation activity that aimed to test if meat from grouper fed the regular fish meal-based diet is any different from those fed the cowpea-based diet. Cowpea is a cheaper source of protein for feeds than fish meal.

Sensory-evaluators were asked to rate the two kinds of grouper meat, labeled A and B, on a hedonic scale based on odor, flavor, and texture. Each kind of meat was prepared two different ways, steamed and sinigang (sour broth).
Should there be no noticeable difference between the two kinds of grouper meat, then cowpea-fed grouper will have no trouble with market acceptance.

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