Peptide molecular weight distribution of soluble protein fraction affects growth performance and quality in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) larvae



Dicentrarchus labrax were fed from 10 to 40 days posthatching with six microdiets differing in the inclusion level (60 g kg-1 and 120 g kg-1) and type of protein hydrolysate (PH; yeast, YPH; pig blood, PBPH; pig red blood cells, PRBCPH). A microdiet containing 120 g kg-1 fish PH (FPH) was used as a control. PH differed in their amino acid (AA) profile and molecular weight distribution and therefore the tested microdiets too. The estimated content in FAA and di- and tripeptides in the FPH microdiet was 2 g kg-1 and 44 g kg-1, respectively. FAA estimated levels in YPH and PBPH microdiets were 26 g kg-1 and 53 g kg-1, whereas levels of di- and tripeptides were 30 g kg-1 and 60 g kg-1, respectively. The estimated levels of FAA in PRBCPH microdiets were 8 g kg-1 and 17 g kg-1, whereas estimated levels of di- and tripeptides were 11 g kg-1 and 22 g kg-1, respectively. Results revealed that FPH may be replaced by alternative PH from yeast and pig blood products, as fish fed those diets performed, in terms of growth, survival, digestive function and incidence of skeletal deformities, as well as those fed the FPH microdiet. Using YPH, PBPH and PRBCPH, the inclusion level of PH in microdiets might be reduced to a half with respect to current practices using FPH.