Assessing mineral availability in fish feeds using complementary methods demonstrated with the example of zinc in atlantic salmon

Marta S. Silva, Thea Stewart, Heidi Amlund, Jens J. Sloth, Pedro Araujo, Erik Jan Lock, Christer Hogstrand, Robin Ørnsrud, Rune Waagbø, Antony Jesu Prabhu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Assessing the availability of dietary micro-minerals is a major challenge in mineral nutrition of fish species. The present article aims to describe a systematic approach combining different methodologies to assess the availability of zinc (Zn) in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Considering that several Zn chemical species can be present in an Atlantic salmon feed, it was hypothesised that Zn availability is influenced by the Zn chemical species present in the feed. Thus, in this study, the first protocol is about how to extract the different Zn chemical species from the feed and to analyze them by a size exclusion chromatography-inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (SEC-ICP-MS) method. Subsequently, an in vitro method was developed to evaluate the solubility of dietary Zn in Atlantic salmon feeds. The third protocol describes the method to study the impact of changing Zn chemical species composition on the uptake of Zn in a fish intestinal epithelial model using a rainbow trout gut cell line (RTgutGC). Together, the findings from the in vitro methods were compared with an in vivo study examining the apparent availability of inorganic and organic sources of Zn supplemented to Atlantic salmon feeds. The results showed that several Zn chemical species can be found in feeds and the efficiency of an organic Zn source depends very much on the amino acid ligand used to chelate Zn. The findings of the in vitro methods had less correlation with that outcome of the in vivo study. Nevertheless, in vitro protocols described in this article provided crucial information regarding Zn availability and its assessment in fish feeds.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere59862
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number176
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


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