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The effect of temperature and dietary fat level on tissue lipid composition in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) fed wax ester-rich oil from Calanus finmarchicus

Aquaculture nutrition 2011 v.17 no.3 pp. e781
Copepoda, Salmo salar, ambient temperature, dietary fat, environmental impact, fatty alcohols, fish, fish culture, fish feeding, fish oils, lipid content, liver, muscles, polyunsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, wax esters, zooplankton
Copepod oil (CO) from the marine zooplankton, Calanus finmarchicus, is a potential alternative to fish oils (FOs) for inclusion in aquafeeds. The oil is composed mainly of wax esters (WE) containing high levels of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and monounsaturated fatty alcohols that are poorly digested by fish at low temperatures. Consequently, tissue lipid compositions may be adversely affected in salmon-fed CO at low temperatures. This study examined the lipid and FA compositions of muscle and liver of Atlantic salmon reared at two temperatures (3 and 12 °C) and fed diets containing either FO or CO, supplying 50% of dietary lipid as WE, at two fat levels (∼330 g kg⁻¹, high; ∼180 g kg⁻¹, low). Fish were acclimatized to rearing temperature for 1 month and then fed one of four diets: high-fat fish oil (HFFO), high-fat Calanus oil (HFCO), low-fat fish oil (LFFO) and low-fat Calanus oil (LFCO). The fish were grown to produce an approximate doubling of initial weight at harvest (220 days at 3 °C and 67 days at 12 °C), and lipid content, lipid class composition and FA composition of liver and muscle were determined. The differences in tissue lipid composition between dietary groups were relatively small. The majority of FA in triacylglycerols (TAG) in both tissues were monounsaturated, and their levels were generally higher at 3 °C than 12 °C. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), particularly (n-3) PUFA, predominated in the polar lipids, and their level was not significantly affected by temperature. The PUFA content of TAG was highest (∼26%) in the muscle of fish fed the HFCO diet at both temperatures. Tissue levels of SFAs were lower in fish-fed diets containing HFCO than those fed HFFO, LFFO or LFCO, particularly at 3 °C. The results are consistent with Atlantic salmon being able to incorporate both the FA and fatty alcohol components of WE into tissue lipids but, overall, the effects of environmental temperature on tissue lipids were more pronounced in fish fed the CO diets than FO diets.