Journal: Aquaculture Nutrition, vol. 192, p. 180–200, 2002
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
International Standard Numbers:
Open Access: none
Fifteen experimental diets with five levels of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) (0, 39, 78, 117 and 156 g kg(-1)) and three levels of cysteine supplementations (0.0, 2.5 and 5.0 g kg(-1)) were fed ad libitum to Atlantic salmon (mean weight at start 846 g) in sea water for 71 days. Nutrient digestibilities and protein retention improved significantly with increasing dietary MCT level following simple linear regression models. Positive effects were also observed on proteolytic enzyme activities in chyme of the pyloric region with peak value around 117 g kg(-1) MCT. However, strong inverse relationships were observed between MCT level and feed intake, growth, body lipid and energy retention, and these effects accelerated with increasing MCT level. Also chyme dry matter decreased with increasing MCT level which also seemed to stimulate pancreatic and bile secretion. MCT did not significantly affect condition factor, dress out percentage, relative liver size or pH in gastrointestinal contents. The only significant effects of dietary cysteine supplementation were increased enzyme activities in chyme of the pyloric region with peak values for the intermediate cysteine level. The results elucidate the importance of diet composition for digestive functions, production efficiency and composition quality.