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Use of protein sources alternative to fish meal in diets with amino acids supplementation for the European eel (Anguilla anguilla)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2010

M. García-Gallego
Affiliation:
Departamento de Biología Animal y Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias, Campus Fuentenueva, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
H. Akharbach
Affiliation:
Departamento de Biología Animal y Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias, Campus Fuentenueva, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
M. de la Higuera
Affiliation:
Departamento de Biología Animal y Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias, Campus Fuentenueva, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
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Abstract

This experiment was conducted to test two different protein sources as alternatives to the commonly used fish meal (FM) in the diet of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla). Six experimental diets were tested in three replicated lots of European eels. All diets contained the same protein and energy content (ca, 300 g crude protein per kg dry matter and 18·5 MJ/kg, respectively) but differed in the nature of the protein source: FM was the only protein source in the control diet and was fully or partially (0–5: 0–5) replaced by meat meal (MM) or sunflower meal (SFM) in four other diets; a sixth diet included SFM as the only protein source but was supplemented with several essential amino acids. Food intake, fish growth and several indices of diet and protein utilization were measured. MM clearly was the poorest protein source while SFM could replace, at least 0·5 of the FM with no significant reduction in performance. In addition, the European eel was able to utilize the supplement of essential amino acids. The full-SFM diet was improved significantly when supplemented and results were not statistically different from the control FM-based diet. Overall, a good correlation was found between the results of each diet and the respective essential amino acid index, calculated using as reference the essential amino acid requirements previously defined for another eel species, Anguilla japonica. This index could be used as a reliable measure for an a priori evaluation of alternative protein sources to be included in commercial foods for eels.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Society of Animal Science 1998

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