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Department of Animal Sciences
The Robert H. Smith Faculty
of Agricultural, Food & Environment

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Phone: +972-(0)8-9489119;
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Off-flavor compounds in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS): Production and removal processes


Azaria, S. ; van Rijn, J. Off-flavor compounds in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS): Production and removal processes. Aquacultural Engineering 2018, 83, 57 - 64.


The accumulation of geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol in culture water and fish is a common problem encountered in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). In these systems, like in other aquaculture systems, abatement of this problem is usually conducted by purging the fish with clean water prior to their marketing. In indoor RAS, mainly heterotrophic prokaryotes underlie the production of geosmin and MIB. While production of these off flavor compounds has been linked with the organic-rich parts of these systems, no further information on factors that promote the growth of the geosmin and MIB-producing microorganisms under these conditions is currently available. Thus far, geosmin and MIB removal from RAS has mainly been conducted by ozonation, albeit with limited success. Biodegradation of geosmin and MIB might serve as an additional method for removal of these compounds from RAS. Geosmin and MIB degradation has been detected in the latter systems, yet factors which promote the activity of geosmin and MIB degraders in these systems remain largely unknown. In the present review, the current knowledge on geosmin and MIB production and removal in RAS is presented. Emphasis is placed on the biodegradation of these off-flavor compounds, a process which has received little attention thus far.