Effect of microcapsule type on delivery of dietary protein to a marine suspension-feeder, the oysterCrassostrea gigas
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In order to efficiently deliver microencapsulated dietary protein to marine suspension-feeders under non-axenic conditions, it is necessary to ensure that capsules are not susceptible to rapid bacterial degradation. In this study, the preparation and use of protein-walled (P) capsules and glyceride-coated, nylon-protein-walled (GNP) capsules are compared for the delivery of dietary protein to oysters. P capsules incubated at 25 °C for 24 h in non-axenic seawater lost up to 38%14C-protein compared with losses of only 14%14C-protein from GNP capsules. Both P and GNP capsules were equally digestedin vitro by extracellular style enzymes ofCrassostrea gigas; however,in vivo feeding experiments withC. gigas indicated that14C-protein from P capsules was assimilated with an efficiency of 39%, while oysters assimilated14C from GNP capsules with a significantly lower efficiency of 29%. Selection of capsule type to maximize utilization of encapsulated protein by cultured marine suspension-feeders should depend on both the susceptibility of capsule type to bacterial degradation as well as the ability of the cultured suspension-feeder to digest and assimilate different capsule types.
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