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Redefining mineral requirements: Why it’s necessary?

Redefining mineral requirements: Why it’s necessary?

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The increasing development of aquafeed technologies embraces a new generation of feed ingredients and additives leading to changes in the specification of diet formulations.
The increasing development of aquafeed technologies embraces a new generation of feed ingredients and additives leading to changes in the specification of diet formulations.

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Published by: International Aquafeed magazine on Jan 11, 2012
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International Aquafeed is published five times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies,the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published.©Copyright 2012 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any formor by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1464-0058
 January | February 2012Feature title: Redefning mineral requirements: Why it’s necessary?
he increasing development of aquafeed technologies embraces anew generation of feed ingredientsand additives leading to changes inthe specification of diet formulations.
This necessitates a new understanding of mineral nutrition and the need to redefine traceelement requirements in keeping with intensiveproduction whilst promotion of fish health.This short review gives a basic outline of  the biological mechanisms involved in one of  these trace elements, zinc and describes why it’s important to re-evaluate the mineral require-ments for salmonids.
Why is zinc important?
‘Micro-nutrients’ is a generic term for die- tary components required in small quantities.Minerals such as copper, zinc, iron, manganeseand selenium are all micronutrients although they are usually categorised as trace minerals,and are essential for the health of all animals,including fish.In aquaculture these dietary essentials areoften supplemented as part of a vitamin/mineral premix due to the inadequate supply obtained from many commercially used feedingredients.Zinc is the most abundant trace mineralfound in fish. It is essential for growth, thedevelopment and maintenance of healthy bones, and over 300 proteins require zinc aseither a structural of functional co-factor. Theseinclude approximately 20 metalloenzymes suchas alkaline phosphatase (required for bone min-eralisation/formation), alcohol dehydrogenase(required for fructose metabolism) and carbonicanhydrase (required to aid the removal of CO
 from cell respiration).Fish deficient of zinc shows growthretardation, cataracts, fin and skin erosion,increased mortality rates and taste dysfunc- tion resulting in reduced appetite and feedconversion.
How does the fish obtain zinc?
Fish have two routes of zinc uptake, first from the diet and second from the surrounding water.There is the potential for waterborne zinc to beabsorbed in both the gut, from the swallowedexternal water, and also directly from the exter-nal aqueous environment via the gills.Salmonids “drink” very little, especially whenin freshwater; freshwater zinc levels are usu-ally less than 10µg/l and saltwater levels evenlower. This is considered too low to make any significant contribution to the whole body zinclevels even though the gills affinity for zinc isextremely high.However, even with this high affinity theuptake rate of zinc from the gill is three to four  times lower than from the gut (Bury et al, 2003).The uptake mechanism in fish is described ashigh affinity low capacity in the gills and lowaffinity but high capacity in the gut.This supports the theory that despite thehigh affinity for zinc in the gill, dietary uptake is the major contributor to the body zinc status.Free zinc ions (i.e. not bound to other com-pounds) are potentially very toxic to many bio-logical processes, yet the incorporation of thesefree zinc ions in numerous proteins is vital for  these very same biological processes to function.Thankfully, from a toxicological stance, only a very small fraction of the total zinc in theenvironment is in this “free” state.Unfortunately, from a nutritional stance, themajority of zinc in the environment is thereforeunavailable. For the zinc to become available these compounds need processing in some way.This processing occurs when the compoundis digested, freeing the potentially toxic zincion, which can now cross the intestinal barrier;or breaking the large compounds down into their smaller components, which can cross theintestine and take the zinc with it. Once inside the organism any free zinc is usually bound toanother compound generally termed a chap-erone, ready to be used or transferred around the body.
How and where is zinc used?
Zinc is very highly regulated in all aspects of  the fish’s body: its uptake from the water or thediet; its excretion by the gills, the intestine, theurine or the integument; and also by its distribu- tion within the body.This regulation means that even a dietary level of 1700mg/kg ZnSO
is still non-toxic to the fish. The ability to regulate this appears tocome from the intestine, it is thought that excesszinc is simply not absorbed and passes through the fish in its faeces, however, it hasn’t beenproved that the high levels of zinc remaining in the faeces hasn’t been processed by the liver and excreted back into the faeces in the bile.Either way, excess zinc in the diet does notseem to present a problem. Low dietary zinclevels are however more serious and the regula- tory mechanism more complex.Every tissue of the fish can be broadly grouped into one of two categories; either functional or exchangeable. A functional zincpool, such as the liver, fins, eyes, gills and skin aregenerally considered metabolically important.It is these tissues, which maintain their zincconcentration regardless of the dietary levels.Exchangeable pools seem to be less importantmetabolically but it is in these tissues (bone,muscle, intestine) we see fluctuations in zinclevels corresponding to the dietary levels. When the dietary supply exceeds require-ment these tissues increase in zinc concentrationand act as a storage facility and when the diet isdeficient it is these pools that decrease quickly and allow the metabolically important tissues tomaintain their zinc levels. Regardless of the ability of the fish to regulate zinc within its body the turnover of zinc is relatively fast (~1% per day).This means that in order to avoid deficiency a continual supply of dietary zinc is essential(Davies et al., 2010)
Dietary zinc requirements
Research into mineral requirements, espe-cially trace minerals such as zinc is well defined
Redefining mineral requirements:
by Dan Leeming PhD Research Student, Aquaculture and Fish Nutrition Research Group, University of Plymouth, Uk
W  h    y   s   s s  y 
28 | IttIol
| January-February 2012
for many higher organisms, but for fish only thecommercially valuable species have received sig-nificant attention. Numerous studies have beencarried out on rainbow trout, Atlantic salmonand Channel catfish; these species have welldefined and frequently cited requirement levels.These requirement levels tend to be cal-culated using purified (non-realistic) diets andinorganic forms of the minerals. In reality, aqua-culture diets contain anti-nutritional factors(ANFs); these are components of the feed thatinhibit the uptake or utilization of another part of  the feed. When concerned with mineral digest-ibility and availability two of the main ANFs are tricalcium phosphate and phytate (phytic acid).Tricalcium phosphate is found in the bone tissueof animals and phytate in many plant proteins.These ANF’s bind to minerals such as zincand effectively render them unavailable to thefish. An example of the effect of these ANFs canbe seen in rainbow trout. Rainbow trout have arequirement of 15-30mg Zn/kg diet (Ogino andYang, 1987). This was calculated using a purifiedegg albumin diet, with no ANFs, and using aninorganic zinc sulphate. When a practical dietcontaining fishmeal was used an additional 40mgZn/kg diet (probably bringing the total dietary zinc level closer to 80-100mg Zn/kg diet) wasrequired to maintain normal growth.Similarly, Atlantic salmon fed a fishmeal dietcontaining 65mg Zn/kg could not maintain their normal zinc status (Lorentzen and Maage, 1999).The higher the bone content of the fishmeal the more zinc needs to be added, espe-cially when using an inorganic zinc salt. Thereplacement of fishmeal with plant protein may exacerbate this effect. Rainbow trout fed asoyabean meal based diet required 150mg Zn/kg to achieve optimal growth. The increaseduse of sustainable fishmeals, often from trim-mings high in bone content, and plant proteinsources high in phytate may mean that a set of minimum requirement levels for fish fed morerealistic diets will be of more practical use to the industry.The development of more advanced feedsupplements such as proteinate sources of min-erals may reduce the effect of ANFs on mineralavailability. Mineral proteinates bind the mineralwithin their structure, ‘protecting’ the mineralfrom the ANFs.This relationship between the protein and the mineral is complex. The mineral has to bebound tight enough not to be released in the gutwhere it would be a free mineral ion, susceptible to the ANFs, just like an inorganic salt, but themineral still needs to be available to the animalonce it has been taken into the cells.If the correct protein/mineral complex isused the level of the mineral used in the dietcan be reduced by as much as 70 percent(Paripatananont and Lovell, 1995; channel catfishwith zinc methionine).If research into the type of protein/mineralcomplex is carried out for each species the effi-ciency of mineral supplementation can be hugely improved. It would also reduce the problems(lower availability and excessive mineral excretion)associated with higher levels of mineral inclusion,which is required when using more sustainableanimal and plant based protein sources.
 Bury, NR, Walker, PA, Glover, CN, 2003. Nutritivemetal uptake in teleost fish. J Exp Biol. 206, 11-23. Davies, SJ, Rider, S, Lundebye, A-K, 2010. Seleniumand zinc nutrition of farmed fish: new perspectivein feed formulation to optimise health andproduction. In: Bury, NR, and Handy, RD (Eds)surface chemistry, bioavalability and metalhomeostasis aquatic organisms: An integratedapproach. SEB, London, pp. 159-181.Lorentzen, M, Maage, A, 1999. Trace element statusof juvenile Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L fed a fish-meal based diet with or without supplementationof zinc, iron, manganese and copper from firstfeeding. Aquac. Nutr. 5, 163-171. Ogino, C, Yang, G.Y, 1978. Mineral requirements infish.4. Requirement of rainbow-trout for dietary zinc. Bulletin of the Japanese Society of ScientificFisheries. 44, 1015-1018. Paripatananont, T, Lovell, RT, 1995. Responsesof Channel Catfish Fed Organic and InorganicSources of Zinc to Edwardsiella ictaluri Challenge. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. 7, 147-154.-
-January-February 2012 | IttIol
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