Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 August 2016
Six experimental diets with similar contents of macronutrients (450, 300 and 70 g/kg dry matter of protein, carbohydrate and fat, respectively) and, therefore, total energy, hut differing in the composition of lipid component, were each given to three replicate groups of European eel. Different fat mixtures were used to formulate diets with different levels of fatty acids considered as essential for fish: linoleic (18: 2n6), linolenic (18: ЗпЗ) and highly unsaturated fatty acid (HUFA)n3, mainly EPA (20: 5n3) and DHA (22: 6n3). One tested diet contained low levels of all the three components, three diets had a high level of each one of these, the fifth diet contained high levels of both 18C fatty acids and, finally, a sixth diet incorporated simultaneously high amounts of 18: 2n6 and (HUFA)nЗ.
Dietary lipid composition did not significantly affect food intake or protein and fat apparent digestibility. However, growth and food efficiency were the best with the diet containing approximately 5 g/kg of both linoleic and linolenic acids. Although all groups increased their body fat content over the experiment, the fatty acid composition of total muscle lipids was rather insensitive to lipid dietary composition, perhaps due to the high body fat content of the eels prior to the experiment.
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