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Results of this study show that the commercial microbial enhanced protein product ME-PRO® has significantly higher levels of hydrolysable protein

In vitro protein digestibility of a microbial-enhanced protein for juvenile white shrimp

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Wednesday, July 01, 2020, 06:00 (GMT + 9)

MEP shows higher levels of hydrolysable protein, predicted apparent protein digestibility

Increasing demand for specialty feeds has stimulated the increase and growth of specialty ingredients that enhance the quality of feeds. The direct effects of special ingredients – such as microbial enhanced proteins (MEP; a leading alternative protein source to replace fishmeal in aquaculture diets) – can provide significant amounts of biologically active factors that can increase gut microbiota, reduce intestinal inflammation and boost metabolic processes for improved animal health. However, the optimum production of feedstuffs with optimum dry matter conversion of feed to weight depends largely on ingredient quality and nutrient availability for the species in question.

The digestibility of an ingredient refers to how much nutrition it provides, to the proportion of all its nutrients that are available to the animal to be absorbed from its intestines. It provides a measure of the nutritional value and quality of an ingredient, because highly digestible ingredients provide a higher relative amount of absorbed nutrients compared to a less digestible ingredient. The determination of digestibility of major nutrients is one of the main steps in the evaluation of their bioavailability to better fulfill the specific requirements for a given species.

View of the analytical station with titrators and central control software for pH-stat determination of protein hydrolysis at LAM-USP.

In this article, we report on a recent study we carried out to determine the in vitro protein digestibility of a commercial MEP – ME-PRO® (Prairie Aquatech, South Dakota USA) – with species-specific digestive enzymes for juvenile Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei).

Study setup

The digestibility study was conducted at the Aquaculture Laboratory (LAM), Oceanographic Institute, University of São Paulo (USP; São Paulo, Brazil). Samples of two soybean products were provided by Prairie Aquatech (South Dakota, USA). Samples of the soy products – non-GMO soybean meal, SBM (46.8 percent crude protein, CP) and ME-PRO® (74.6 percent CP) – had appropriate particle size (>150 microns) and were analyzed for determination of their degree of protein hydrolysis (DH, percent).

Ready-to-use frozen standardized enzyme extracts recovered from shrimp species for in vitro protein digestion assays at LAM-USP.

These samples were tested for in vitro protein digestion with standardized digestive enzymes recovered from the hepatopancreas of pond-farmed Pacific white shrimp (10 grams average weight). The hydrolysis with shrimp enzymes involved the suspension of 80 mg of ingredient protein in distilled water, with pH of the suspension set at 8.0 following the addition of the hepatopancreas enzyme extract for hydrolysis.

The pH shift and hydrolysis monitoring were automatically performed by commercial, software- controlled potentiometric titrators in temperature-controlled devices (30 ± 0.6 degrees-C). At this reaction pH (= 8.0), the enzymatic breakage of ingredient peptide bonds produces slight reduction in reaction pH that is registered and automatically neutralized by the titrator with addition of sodium hydroxide, NaOH. At the end of the reaction the amount of titrant (NaOH) expended is proportional to the number of peptide bonds cleaved and a quantitative value provided: the degree of protein hydrolysis (DH, percent).

No buffers or other chemicals were used in the analysis. If determined significant, then blank DH values were computed for the calculation of net DH of ingredient protein.(continue...)

Author: Sergio F. Nates, Ph.D. / Global Aquaculture Advocate | Read full article here



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