Chelated minerals in aquaculture


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Trace minerals found in mammals and birds are very important in the metabolism of the aquaculture species. The inclusion of trace mineral in aquafeeds is a guarantee to reach a good level of growth and development.

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Chelated minerals in aquaculture

  1. 1. July | August 2013 Chelated minerals in aquaculture The International magazine for the aquaculture feed industry International Aquafeed is published six 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 2013 Perendale Publishers Ltd.All rights reserved.No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1464-0058 INCORPORATING f ish farming technolog y
  2. 2. Innovations for a better world. Bühler AG, Feed & Biomass, CH-9240 Uzwil, Switzerland, T +41 71 955 11 11, F +41 71 955 28 96, Fatten up your bottom line. Bühler high-performance animal and aqua feed production systems are used by leading companies around the world. These producers know they can rely not just on the technology itself, but also on the support that accompanies it. A service combining local presence with global expertise both lowers feed mill operating costs and increases capacity utilization. To find out more, visit
  3. 3. T race minerals found in mammals and birds are very important in the metabolism of the aquaculture species. The inclusion of trace mineral in aquafeeds is a guarantee to reach a good level of growth and development. The main functions we have to highlight are the essential role in the skeleton and soft tissues involved in nerve transmission, as well as in the maintenance of pressure and regulation of blood pH. They are part of many enzymes, vitamins, hormones and act as enzyme activators. Trace minerals act by modulating the immune system and are essential in preventing deficiency and patho- logical diseases of different kinds. The mineral requirements in aquaculture species are well defined, although in recent years much research has been done on the way to provide them. Fish are able to absorb minerals from the environment through the gills, although they need a nutritional mineral supplement in the diet. Traditionally, the min- eral supplementation has been carried out by the intake of inorganic minerals. In the last few decades it has been shown that interactions between different miner- als, when added inorganically, greatly hinder absorption. This effect has been tradition- ally compensated by increasing mineral doses. However, this increase of inclusion levels has lead to negative effects on the environment. The use of organic minerals (chelated minerals), with better absorption and lower interaction problems, allows us to meet the needs of the aquaculture species without overdosing diets, avoiding environmental problems, maximizing growth, and lowering the inclusion cost. Contribution and bioavailability of minerals in aquaculture The contribution of minerals to fish and shrimp farming comes from feed ingredients, as well as from the contribution provided by the mineral concealer and the absorption abil- ity, through the skin and gills, of those minerals dissolved in water. Mineral requirements differ among species of fresh water and seawater, due to the dif- ferent capacity to absorb minerals from water, which is caused by the different osmotic pres- sure in both groups. In aquafeed, minerals usually are added to the feed in an inorganic form, combined with other chemical elements, such as carbonates, phosphates, sulfates and oxides. In this embodiment, the inorganic mineral absorption doesn’t show a high efficiency. A high percentage of minerals are not absorbed in the intestine. When they inter- act with other elements, they do not reach the bloodstream to go to the different organs and tissues. The absorption efficiency of inor- ganic minerals in aquaculture is at an average/lower level, below 20 percent. For this reason, in animal nutrition there is a tendency to incorporate high amounts of minerals, to ensure the real needs of the organ- ism. It is important to stress that the pres- ence of certain substances in the diet such as phytate, or high calcium or phosphorus content, also decrease mineral absorption capacity. In herbivorous fish species, whose diets have a high percentage of vegetable raw materials, it is necessary to provide a higher amount of minerals an inorganic form, given the high phytate content. The bioavailability of minerals is also condi- tioned by the digestibility of feed, the particle size, the synergistic or antagonistic interac- tions, health status of the fish, the species, and the chemical state of the mineral (Watanabe et al. 1997). Chelation - an effective solution to increase the bioavailability Chelation is a process which occurs natu- rally in the body of living creatures. As clear examples of chelation we have hemoglobin with iron, chlorophyll with manganese, or cobalt with vitamin B12, which allows the mineral (metal), in an inorganic form, to be Chelated minerals in aquaculture by A Rodriguez, i Lopez, E Sujka, S De la Cuesta, C Lopez, R Nieto, Liptosa technical team, Spain infrared spectrophotometry of a Zn glycinate 22 | InternAtIonAl AquAFeed | July-August 2013 FEATURE
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  5. 5. transformed to an organic form, increasing availability. Inorganic minerals are chelated in the intestine, in order to enable their trans- port across the intestinal wall. Aquaculture nutrition, like in mammal and bird nutrition, found an alternative in the chelation process, which is a very effective alternative to greatly increase the absorption of essential minerals. Chelation is a highly effective technology for the protection of inorganic minerals, and currently is a widespread practice in animal nutrition. It allows essential minerals to be managed more rationally, increasing their bio- availability. This also helps avoid excretion into the environment due to lack of absorption and contributes positively to reduce environ- mental pollution. Minerals, by default or excess of absorp- tion may be harmful to health. The interac- tion between chelated minerals is much lower than the one that occurs when miner- als are presented on inorganic form. In turn, inorganic minerals act on B vitamins, enabling oxidation. An example of mineral interaction is the one that takes place between the iron and zinc. It has been shown that a mineral chelate could be up to four times more bioavailable when is presented inorganically. Therefore, chelation becomes a very useful process for optimizing diets, according to the needs, either in isolation or in a chelated mineral complex, specifically formulated for a target species. Amino acid chelated minerals It is very important to highlight that although amino acids are not the only chelat- ing agents used, the organic minerals with the greatest bioavailability are amino acid chelated minerals. The amino acid molecule acts as a protection of mineral interactions with the substances present in the gastric juice. Chelates of molecular weight below 800 dalton, are capable of crossing the membranes of the intestinal cells without being hydrolyzed in the lumen. However, chelates bigger than dipeptides, cannot be transported efficiently and end up being hydrolyzed in the gut. During the 1990s the first chelated miner- als with methionate began to be pro- duced. Subsequently, in 2003 proteinate chelation started and by 2006 the EU approved Glycinates chelation. Glycine, due to its high protein con- tent, allows a very strong link with the mineral, allowing the preparation of chelated minerals, characterised by its high stability and bioavailability. The body's abil- ity to absorb single amino acids is very high. Glycine is the most efficient amino acid because of its easy absorption into the intestinal wall, due to its low molec- ular weight. Glycine added to the diet can protect the body against endotoxins and can face the shock caused by bleeding. It also reduces liver damage induced by hepato- toxic drugs and acts against inflammation by reducing cytokine formation. The stability coef- ficient of chelated minerals to assess absorption ability must be in the range of 4-5. Glycinate provides a better stability coefficient than methionates; for example the stabil- ity constant of zinc glycinate is 5.26 com- pared to the 4.38 of zinc methionine. The stability coeffi- cient of iron glyci- nate is about 10.0 versus 9.1 from iron methionate. Infrared spectrophotometry is the technique used to evaluate the qual- ity of chelation and therefore its bioavail- ability. Zinc deficiency in salmon NUTRACEUTICALS AND PHYTOBIOTICS FOR AQUACULTURE Growth promoters Anti-parasites Attractants Hepatoprotectors Antioxidants Detoxifiers Chelated minerals ADDITIVES FOR AQUACULTURE SOLUTIONS C/ San Romualdo 12-14 • 28037 Madrid (Spain) +34 902 15 77 11 • +34 91 725 08 00 • Prensa Liptosa 270 x 90.indd 2 14/03/13 18 July-August 2013 | InternAtIonAl AquAFeed | 23 FEATURE
  6. 6. Importance of minerals Zn and Fe in aquaculture Zinc and iron also play an important role in fish and shrimp metabolism. Zinc require- ments are estimated between 15-40 mg / kg, and iron between 30-170 mg / kg of diet, depending on the specie. (Watanabe et al. (1988). Hilton (1989) Lall (1989) and Steffens (1989). Zinc is an essential mineral as it is a com- ponent of a large number of metalloenzymes such as carbonic anhydrase, which is involved in the transport of carbon dioxide in the blood, and the alkaline phosphatase. In turn, it acts as cofactor in many enzymatic processes involved in the metabolism of lipids, proteins and carbohydrates. Also, it has been reported its role in the synthesis of RNA and DNA, as well as in proteins, hormones, in proc- esses of wound healing, and anti stress effect. Zinc deficiencies in fish diets cause poor growth, poor appetite, blindness, develop- mental problems in the skeleton, with smaller vertebrae, and bone matrix with a lower hardness. Zinc deficiency reduces the digestibility of proteins and carbohydrates, probably due to poor activity of the enzyme carboxypeptidase (Ogino and Yang, 1978). Abnormalities in the skin and fins due to zinc deficiencies have also been reported. Iron, like zinc, is an essential component of many enzymes and various enzymatic systems. It is an essential component of hemoglobin and myoglobin and is a key factor in the trans- port of oxygen within the body. Iron content in fish is relatively low compared with that of vertebrates (Van Dijk et 1975) although at gill level, absorp- tion also occurs. This takes place in the intestinal mucosa is where iron content is higher. The extended iron deficiency in fish causes anemia and poor growth, as well as an increasing sensitivity to infections. The major contribution of the iron in fish comes from the diet, due to the low concentration of iron in farm water (NRC 1993). Iron is one of the minerals involved in lipid oxidation processes. Ferric salts catalyze the formation of hydroperoxides and free radi- cals, providing a free radical in presence of unsaturated fatty acids and oxygen (Chvapil et al., 1974, Lee et al., 1981, Fujimoto et al., 1982). The supply of chelated iron in the diet, at a much lower dose than those reported in inorganic form (due to its higher bioavailabil- ity), is a good choice for the development of aquaculture diets with a high content of lipids and pigments, and for preventing oxidative processes. Replacement practices of animal raw mate- rials by those of plant origin cause significant variations in the content provided by trace minerals. The addition of chelated minerals provides a balance to the replacement of raw materials, and allows effective corrections in the diet. Iron and zinc glycinates The chelation with one or two molecules of glycine has shown a great impact on aquac- ulture due to the following advantages: • No interaction with other compounds in the intestine • Stable in different pH ranges • Stable at high temperatures • Low molecular weight, less than 200 Dalton, which ease an absorption level close to 100 percent • No interaction with other substances, macrominerales or microminerals from the diet, favouring its absorption into the intestinal lumen • Chelation doesn´t have an ionizable neutral charge, so it’s less reactive • It is not pollutant due to its high degree of absorption • It doesn’t provide flavour to the feed, but it’s more palatable than inorganic minerals Contribution to sustainability In the aquaculture sector there is grow- ing sustainability commitment to achieve cleaner and environmentally friendly pro- duction. The global demand for aquacul- ture species increases every year due to the increasing demand for animal protein worldwide. Fish farms have increased their degree of specialization and efficiency greatly, so the time invested in the development of the production cycle and the cost of feed, plays a key role on the profitability of the companies. Thanks to the efforts in genetic improve- ment, some aquaculture species exhibit a high level of development, showing a high growth potential and feed efficiency. On the other hand, other aquaculture species should go deeper into the genetic improvement with the aim of optimizing their production and preserve the environment. The addition of chelated minerals to the diet allow us to provide certain amounts of minerals according to the needs of the fish. Chelated minerals provide greater bioavail- ability and produce lower excretion rates in comparison with inorganic minerals. A balanced diet is one that incorporates a greater diversity of ingredients with a com- pensatory effect between them. From an envi- ronmental point of view, the best diet is one that provides a higher degree of digestibility. Mineral bioavailability within a diet is a factor to be considered, because of supplementation can be reduced threefold with respect to the contributions in inorganic form. As a final conclusion we can say that in aquaculture nutrition, the benefit provided by the use of chelated minerals in the diet must be taken into account, to allow a more bio- available and balanced contribution. More InforMatIon: Website: 24 | InternAtIonAl AquAFeed | July-August 2013 FEATURE
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  8. 8. LINKS • See the full issue • Visit the International Aquafeed website • Contact the International Aquafeed Team • Subscribe to International Aquafeed Maintaining ingredient quality in extruded feeds Fine particle filtration in aquaculture Effect of probiotic, Hydroyeast Aquaculture – as growth promoter for adult Nile tilapia Volume 16 Issue 4 2013 - JulY | August INCORPORATING fIsh fARmING TeChNOlOGy EXPERT TOPIC – channel catfish This digital re-print is part of the July | August 2013 edition of International Aquafeed magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full online magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features on the docstoc website. Please click here to view our other publications on To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paper edition please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link above. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE