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Assessment of enzymatic efficiency on protein digestion in the tilapia Oreochromis niloticus

Abstract

The present study develops an experimental procedure aimed to estimate the efficiency of protein digestion in fish by measuring both gut transit rate and total amount of the main intestinal proteases (trypsin and chymotrypsin). The selected species was the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Total time for digestion, calculated through the estimation of gut transit rate using differently colored feeds, was 7.15 h. Mean production of trypsin and chymotrypsin was 15.94 and 24.11 mU in the proximal intestine and much lower (2,39, 4.90 mU) in the distal intestine. The enzyme efficiency, calculated from the average enzyme activity and time of residence of the digesta in each intestinal section, points to the major role of proximal intestine in protein digestion for this species. Results are discussed in relation to the main features characterizing digestion in stomachless fish.

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Acknowledgments

A. Uscanga received a grant (N 177284) from the CONACYT to develop this work. The experiments were partially funded by Project AGL2007-64450-C02-02 from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

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Correspondence to F. J. Moyano.

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Uscanga, A., Moyano, F.J. & Alvarez, C.A. Assessment of enzymatic efficiency on protein digestion in the tilapia Oreochromis niloticus . Fish Physiol Biochem 36, 1079–1085 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10695-010-9385-8

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Keywords

  • Gut transit
  • Proteases
  • Enzyme efficiency
  • Nile tilapia