Effects of plant proteins on postprandial, free plasma amino acid concentrations in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

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Postprandial patterns in plasma free amino acid concentrations were investigated in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fed either a fish meal based diet (FM) or a diet (VEG) where 59% of fish meal protein (corresponding to 46% of total dietary protein) was replaced by a matrix of plant proteins from wheat, peas, field beans, sunflower and soybean. Blood samples were obtained from the caudal vein of 7 fish in each dietary treatment group prior to feeding, as well as: 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 48 and 72 h after feeding (sampling 7 new fish at each time point), and plasma amino acid concentrations were subsequently measured by HPLC. Nutrient digestibility and ammonia excretion of the two experimental diets were measured in a parallel experiment using a modified Guelph setup. Results showed that the appearance of most amino acids (essential and non-essential) in the plasma was delayed in fish fed the VEG diet compared to those fed the FM diet. Essential and non-essential amino acids furthermore appeared more or less synchronously in the plasma in fish fed the FM diet, while the appearance was less synchronised in fish fed the VEG diet. Differences in plasma concentrations between the two dietary treatment groups correlated largely with the amino acid content of the two diets except for methionine, lysine and arginine, where the differences were more extreme than what would be expected from differences in dietary concentrations. The apparent protein digestibility coefficient was higher in the VEG diet than in the FM diet (93 versus 92%; t-test, Pb0.05), supporting that protease inhibitors from plant protein ingredients were not the cause of the delay. The apparent digestibility coefficient of carbohydrates (calculated as nitrogen-free extract (NFE)) was much lower in the VEG than in the FM diet (51 versus 76%; t-test, Pb0.05). Combined with a higher NFE content in the VEG diet, this meant that there was 2.7 times more indigestible NFE in the VEG than in the FM diet (6.1 versus 2.2 g 100−1 g feed). Such difference may suggest that the uptake of amino acids (AA) was affected by dietary carbohydrates. Total ammonia-nitrogen (TAN) excretion was slightly, but non-significantly, higher in VEG fed fish than in FM fed fish (59 versus 55 mg TAN g−1 digested protein; t-test, P>0.05). In conclusion, the study showed that amino acid uptake patterns are affected when replacing fish meal with plant based protein ingredients
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-98
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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