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Summary

The total amount of ammonia nitrogen (TAN) leaching from Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) feed pellets was determined under controlled laboratory conditions. The leaching was successfully explained by means of a first order kinetic equation: inline image, where a was the maximum TAN leached and k was the velocity of the process. Then ta was defined as the time at which a was reached, which was obtained from the equation prediction. The interaction between pellet size and immersion length significantly influenced TAN leaching: the smaller the pellet and the longer the immersion times, the higher the leaching (a). However, pellet size did not influence k or ta, although k tended to be higher and ta lower for larger pellets. TAN leaching from feed pellets depends on the protein content and contact surface. As the surface/volume ratio (S/V) increases with pellet size while the protein content decreases, it was hypothesized that S/V influences k whereas the protein content has a greater effect on a.