Differences in energy utilization efficiency of digested protein, fat and carbohydrates in snakehead (Channa striata)

L.T.T. Phan, K. Masagounder, J. Mas-Muñoz, J.W. Schrama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to assess if the relationship between digestible energy (DE) intake and energy retention (RE) is dependent on dietary macronutrient composition; and to quantify the energy utilization efficiency of digested protein (dCP), fat (dFat) and carbohydrates (dCarb) for growth in snakehead (Channa striata). This was achieved by conducting a 42-day feeding trial on snakehead (29.1 g) with a 4 × 2 factorial design. Nutrient digestibility, nitrogen and energy balances were measured. Four diets were formulated, which had contrasting levels of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Each diet was tested at 2 feeding levels, in order to estimate within each feeding level the relationship between DE and RE. Snakehead (a carnivore) is well able to digest starch. Starch digestibility ranged from 93% to 99.5%. The linear relationship between RE and DE intake was affected by diet. Diets with a high Carb content had a lower slope (0.45 versus 0.53 to 0.56), which indicates that DE is less efficiently used for RE. Multiple regression of RE as a function of dCP, dFat and dCarb (in g.kg-0.8.d−1) intake was also applied to estimate the energy utilization efficiency of each digestible macronutrient. A linear relationship was found between RE and dCP, dFat and dCarb. Snakehead are a lean fish, which we observed prioritise digestible protein intake for protein gain. The estimated energy efficiencies of dCP, dFat and dCarb (respectively, kNE;dCP, kNE;dFat, and kNE;dCarb) for energy retention were 53, 79 and 5%, respectively. Snakehead can digest starch at the high level but cannot metabolise digested starch for growth efficiently.
Original languageEnglish
Article number736066
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2021


  • Bioenergetics: Net energy
  • Channa striata
  • Digestible nutrients
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy evaluation
  • Energy metabolism


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