Soluble non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) present in cereal grains may affect performance of Nile tilapia through changes in digesta characteristics. The objective of this study was to investigate whether dietary cereal grains of increasing viscosity induce changes in digesta viscosity, dry matter and volatile fatty acids (VFA) and if these changes explain differences in nutrient digestibility and mineral absorption. Four experimental diets were formulated by adding 40% grains to a basal diet to obtain a range of dietary viscosities, increasing in the order of maize, barley, wheat and rye. The diets were assigned to 16 tanks with 40 fish (mean weight 70 g) each. Digesta viscosity increased with increasing grain viscosity (P <0.001), whereas digesta dry matter decreased with increasing grain viscosity (P <0.05). No significant differences were found among diets in total concentration and type of VFA. Nutrient digestibility was not significantly correlated with digesta viscosity. Of all nutrients, only starch digestibility was significantly negatively correlated with digesta dry matter in the middle intestine (r = ¿ 0.57; P = 0.03). Absorption of sodium was significantly negatively correlated with digesta viscosity in all intestinal segments (r = ¿ 0.76 to ¿ 0.82; P <0.001) and positively correlated with digesta dry matter in all intestinal segments (r = + 0.60 to + 0.67; P <0.05), except for the proximal intestine (P = 0.18). Of the other minerals, potassium and magnesium absorption were positively correlated with digesta dry matter in the distal (r = + 0.56; P = 0.03) and proximal (r = + 0.54; P = 0.04) intestine, respectively. Phosphorus absorption was significantly negatively correlated with dry matter in the stomach (r = ¿ 0.55; P = 0.03), middle (r = ¿ 0.58; P = 0.02) and distal (r = ¿ 0.54; P = 0.04) intestine. In conclusion, viscous cereal grains induce increases in digesta viscosity and decreases in digesta dry matter in Nile tilapia. These changes do not explain differences in nutrient digestibility among diets, but seem more related to differences in mineral absorption. The strong negative correlations between digesta viscosity and sodium absorption suggest negative effects of dietary viscous grains on intestinal water balance.
- chain fatty-acids
- nonstarch polysaccharide
- antinutritive activity
Leenhouwers, J. I., Ortega, R. C., Verreth, J. A. J., & Schrama, J. W. (2007). Digesta characteristics in relation to nutrient digestibility and mineral absorption in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) fed cereal grains of increasing viscosity. Aquaculture, 273(4), 556-565. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2007.10.044