If you are growing trouts in aquaponics and you consumed it, you have maybe realized that the flesh color isn’t pink but white. The color of the fish is dependent on the type of food they eat. In the natural environment, trouts and salmons are consuming little crustaceans (artemia, gammarus…) high in carotenoids. Carotenoids are strong natural colorant found in crustaceans and carrots responsible for the nice orange/pink colour. In aquaponics there are different ways to feed fish. Some people grow the fish from insects and plants but most aquaponics keepers are using the same fish food pellet as the one used in aquaculture. This fish food is generally made from fish meal, and vegetables. The quantity of carotenoid is very low (if not 0) and therefore the fish don’t develop the nice pink flesh colour. In Aquaculture the fish farmers are using a special fish food few month before harvesting the fish in order to get the colour adapted to the market demand. They add a colorant (generally astaxanthin) to the fish food. This artificial colorant will act the same way as the natural carotenoids and be fixed in the fish flesh. In this way the fish farmers can obtain the exact colour wanted by modifying the quantity of astaxanthin into the fish food. This colorant doesn’t improve the taste, the texture or the quality of the product. Knowing this, in aquaponics there is definitely no need to add any colorant to the fish food. Some markets such as Germany and part of Switzerland are used to consume white trout and don’t add any colorant to the food.
In conclusion we can say that the flesh colour of your fish doesn’t really matter. The important is that it’s natural, tasty and healthy.
Welcome here! If you are new, you will probably be interested to discover Jonathan’s six steps to build and manage an Aquaponics system. Click here to access for free! Thanks and good reading 🙂