• amino acid;
  • digestibility;
  • feed evaluation;
  • fish nutrition;
  • Nile tilapia;
  • nutritional value


Apparent amino acid availability coefficients and protein digestibility of four animal products [fish meal (FM), meat and bone meal (MBM), poultry by-product and feather meal] and four plant protein-rich products [soybean meal (SBM), cottonseed meal-28, cottonseed meal-38 and corn gluten meal (CGM)] were determined for Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Ingredients were incorporated to a practical reference diet at a 7 : 3 ratio (70% of reference diet and 30% of test ingredient). Chromic oxide was used as external digestibility marker. Among animal products poultry by-product meal (PBM; 89.7%) and FM (88.6%) presented the highest apparent protein digestibility (APD) while MBM (78.4%) and feather meal (78.5%) presented the lowest APD. Among plant protein-rich products CGM (91.4%) and SBM (92.4%) presented the highest APD values while cottonseed meal-28 presented the lowest APD (78.6%). Average apparent amino acid availability of feed ingredients was similar to protein digestibility with 92.3%, 89.6%, 73.4%, 80.7%, 88.9%, 84.4%, 91.2% and 79.7% values for SBM, CGM, cottonseed meal-28 and 38, FM, MBM, PBM and feather meal respectively. These results indicate that O. niloticus is able to utilize efficiently different feedstuffs.