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November | December 2010

Feature title: Chromium

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The International magazine for the aquaculture feed industry

F: Chromium F: Chromium

High end
for top quality output


• Wide dosing capacity range from

1 to 200 kg
rainbow • Glucose being
trout have a less potent than • Durable construction and low
turnover of certain amino
glucose ten times slower than rats while acids as a stimu- • Special shaped dosing slides for fine and
carp have a higher intestinal activity of lus for insulin coarse dosing
the forgotten mineral that plays an essential role in the utilization of amylase than carnivorous fish. release. • Minimum contamination of product
carbohydrates in mirror carp (Cyprinus carpio) diets This makes carp a suitable candidate for • The possible
the inclusion of higher dietary carbohydrate inhibition of
levels than other carnivorous species. insulin release
by Arafat R Ahmed and Simon J Davies, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, United Kingdom
The optimum range of dietary carbo- by somatostat-
hydrate for carp can be considered to be ins occurring
30-40 percent, twice that of rainbow trout. due to high
If carbohydrates are not provided as an blood glucose
energy source then other nutrients in the levels.
diet, such as protein and lipids, are diverted • The relatively

and catabolised for energy production and low number of
he Cyprinids are the The nutrient requirements for nents of these compound feeds, as they are to provide metabolic intermediates for the insulin recep-
dominant species of culture many carp species have been well relatively inexpensive energy sources. synthesis of other biological compounds. tors in fish as
fish worldwide accounting documented and vary depending on the In general while fish have all the major compared to
for over 20 million metric particular species, farming method and enzymes present for the digestion of carbo- Efficient compound diet mammals.
tonnes, or 77 percent of the total life history. hydrates. The freshwater and warm water The importance of developing a better In diet formula-
aquaculture finfish production. However, with the changing trends in fish digest carbohydrates more efficiently understanding of carbohydrate utilisation tions where plant
carp farming practise from extensive cul- than marine and coldwater fish. and its optimisation is therefore essential proteins are used
The predominantly Asian consumption tivation to high input semi-intensive and Amylase is the main enzyme involved in in the development of efficient compound extensively, and
of this group of species makes them the intensive culture systems the demand for hydrolysing dietary starch into disaccharides diets for carp. Carbohydrate utilisation where they replace
most commonly eaten aquaculture species compound aquaculture feeds for this sector and trisaccharides which are converted by appears to be related to the complexity of fish meal in fish
and importantly provides, as a food fish, a is increasing. The average amount of fish other enzymes to glucose to supply the the carbohydrate, for example, gelatinised diets, reduced
major source of basic protein to a large meal in carp diets is reported to be five body with energy. starch has been shown to produce higher natural background
part of the world’s population. percent however diets intended for high However, amylase activity in the diges- growth rates and feed efficiency in common mineral levels occur.
The mirror carp (Cyprinus carpio) is one input systems can contain as much as 15-25 tive tract and the digestibility of starch in carp than dietary glucose or dextrin. This Several areas of
of the most well-known members of the percent fishmeal. fish is lower than that of terrestrial animals: indicates that complex carbohydrates are concern arise due
carp family and is cultured widely in Asia, in These high levels of fish meal inclusion digested and absorbed slowly while simple to these diet for-
most parts of Europe including the former are both expensive and considered unsus- sugars are absorbed rapidly and result in mulation changes:
USSR, in the Middle and Near East and in tainable in modern intensive aquaculture high blood glucose levels. balancing essential
some countries of Africa. practice. Fish, in general, have been shown to have amino acid content
It is a hardy species that can tolerate poor control over glucose levels because of diets, diet palat-
a wide range of conditions; however they Carbohydrates prolonged hyperglycemia is observed in fish ability and dietary
do best in large bodies of fresh water with In order to provide least cost compound following glucose tolerance tests. This vari- minerals, both in
slow flowing or still water with soft muddy carp diets the trend is to use locally avail- ation in carbohydrate digestion and absorp- terms of levels, form
sediments. Mirror carp are omnivorous in able vegetable protein sources and also tion may be explained in several ways: and bioavailability.
that they feed on plants and animals such as include non-protein sources to minimis- • The lack of inducible glucokinase and In fish, trace
aquatic crustaceans including zooplankton, ing nitrogenous wastes and environmental low hexokinase activity, two blood elements play an
insects, worms, aquatic plants, algae and impact. Carbohydrates, such as dextrin and Figure 1: Minerals in fish enzymes responsible for glucose important role in
seeds. the starch binders, are important compo- nutrition regulation. cellular metabolism, w w w. a a r s e n . co m

34 | InternatIonal AquAFeed | november-December 2010 november-December 2010 | InternatIonal AquAFeed | 35

F: Chromium

formation of skeletal structures, mainte- eral metabolism and function but did not pancreatic beta cells and enhances the affinity
nance of colloidal systems, regulation of explain why the responses change when of insulin for its receptors.
acid-base equilibrium and other physiologi- levels, sources and ratios of minerals varied. Very few studies have been published on
cal functions. Many of the trace elements When free ionic mineral forms are chromium supplementation in fish. However
are associated with specific proteins in used in fish diets, components of the diet, it has been shown that supplementation

metallo-enzymes which have unique cata- such as phytate from plant proteins and with chromium chloride improved glucose
lytic functions and are involved in most sulphur contained in many DDGS, may utilization in common carp while chromic
aspects of cell biochemistry and function form complexes with the trace elements oxide improved utilization of glucose in
(see Figure 1). and interfere with their availability. Zinc and tilapia.
Historically minerals and their inter- copper are good examples of this. With the The chemical form of chromium has
actions in fish diets have been studied presence of mineral antagonistic effects and been shown to affect the tissue concentra-
individually (i.e. level of one mineral varied the resulting poorer bioavailability, the ten- tions of chromium of rats and studies with
while others are held constant) and only dency has been to compensate with higher swine and poultry suggest that the inorganic
the inorganic forms were investigated. levels of traditional inorganic minerals. forms of chromium are poorly absorbed.
These studies explained much about min- Recent studies have shown that organic Further studies with the same species with
mineral forms (metal amino acid com- organic forms of chromium showed that a
plex, metal polysaccharide complex, metal chromium amino acid complex and yeast
proteinate and metal yeasts) are less sus- incorporated chromium were more effec-
ceptible to mineral antagonistic effects, tive than the inorganic forms.
are better absorbed and therefore more Research has been on-going at the
bioavailable. However the effectiveness of University of Plymouth to investigate the
these organic forms varies greatly depend- effect of dietary chromium on the growth
ing on the production methodology and and carbohydrate metabolism in mirror
the dietary components used for a particu- and common carp. Preliminary results have
lar target species. shown that an organic form of chromium
(chromium yeast, Biochrome®, Alltech
Chromium Inc) has shown improved growth results
Due to the high levels of dietary car- and bioavailability than the inorganic form
Figure 2: The role of chromium bohydrate in common carp diets, one (chromium chloride) when included in carp
in glucose metabolism mineral of particular interest is chromium. diets’ at the same level.
This trace element has been shown to be Different parameters were measured
essential and participates in carbohydrate to evaluate the effect of various levels
and lipid metabolism (see Figure 2). and sources of chromium (organic and
Chromium supplementation improves inorganic) on fish health and this included
glucose utilization in diabetic humans and histological examination of the liver and gut,
its incorporation in animal feeds appears comet assay for blood cells and the effect
to influence metabolic processes. This has of chromium on key liver enzymes, plasma
resulted in improved performance charac- glucose concentration and gene expression.
teristics (growth, reproductive efficiency
and carcass composition) in pigs, broilers Conclusion
chicken and cattle. This study will identify the true require-
The most important chromium oxida- ment of this essential trace element and
Figure 3: The hypothetical
structure of GTF tion states are the trivalent and hexavalent provide a better understanding of chromium
forms of chromium.The trivalent form being interactions in a number of physiological proc-
the most stable and biologically important. esses enabling more efficient diet formulation
The acute and chronic toxic effects of chro- for this important species to be developed.
mium are mainly caused
by the hexavalent form.
Trivalent chromium is
an active component of About the author
the glucose tolerance fac- Arafat Ahmed is a PhD student at
tor (GTF) or chromium the University of Plymouth with a
di-nicotinic acid glutath- grant from the Ministry of Higher
ione complex (see Figure Education in Bagdad, Iraq studying
FRANCE / 00 33 2 97 40 42 09

3) which interacts with the effect of dietary chromium

Figure 4: Growth performance insulin and facilitates the on the growth and carbohydrate
of mirror carp fed respective uptake of glucose into cells. metabolism in mirror and com-
diets at weekly intervals for 8 Our hydrolysates have a superior concentration of Natural Active NutrientsTM
Chromium is also consid- mon carp (Cyprinus carpio).
weeks Thanks to their biological action on fish and shrimp growth mechanisms,
ered to be a cofactor for
insulin, increases the size of they boost your feed performance and help you substituting fish meal.

36 | InternatIonal AquAFeed | november-December 2010 -
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