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PeerJ. 2017 Oct 27;5:e3710. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3710. eCollection 2017.

Inorganic, organic, and encapsulated minerals in vegetable meal based diets for Sparus aurata (Linnaeus, 1758).

Author information

Grupo de Investigación en Acuicultura (GIA), University Institute Ecoaqua, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Telde, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain.
Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.
Inter-University Centre for Research in Protein Biotechnologies, "The Protein Factory", Polytechnic University of Milan and University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.
BioMar Hellenic SA, Volos, Greece.
National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES), Bergen, Norway.


Substituting fishmeal (FM) with vegetable meal (VM) can markedly affect the mineral composition of feeds, and may require additional mineral supplementation. Their bioavailability and optimal supplementation levels depend also on the form of delivery of minerals. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of different delivery forms of three major trace elements (Zn, Mn and Se) in a marine teleost. Gilthead sea bream juveniles of 22.5 g were fed a VM-based diet for 12 weeks that was either not supplemented with these minerals or supplemented with inorganic, organic, or encapsulated inorganic forms of minerals in triplicate and compared to a FM-based diet. Our results showed that mineral delivery form significantly affected the biochemical composition and morphology of posterior vertebrae. Supplementation of VM-based diets with inorganic forms of the target minerals significantly promoted growth, increased the vertebral weight and content of ash and Zn, enhanced bone mineralization and affected the vertebral shape. Conversely, encapsulation of inorganic minerals reduced fish growth and vertebral mineral content, whereas supplementation of organic minerals, enhanced bone osteogenesis by upregulating bone morphogenetic protein 2 (bmp2) gene and produced vertebrae with a larger length in relation to height. Furthermore, organic mineral forms of delivery downregulated the expression of oxidative stress related genes, such as Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn sod) and glutathione peroxidase 1 (gpx-1), suggesting thus that dietary minerals supplemented in the organic form could be reasonably considered more effective than the inorganic and encapsulated forms of supply.


Encapsulated; Inorganic; Manganese; Organic; Selenium; Sparus aurata; Vegetable meals; Vertebral morphology; Zinc

Conflict of interest statement

Kristin Hamre is an Academic Editor for PeerJ. Vasileios Karalazos is an employee of BioMar Hellenic SA, Volos, Greece.

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