Fish meals, fish components, and fish protein hydrolysates as potential ingredients in pet foods

J. F. Folador, L. K. Karr-Lilienthal, C. M. Parsons, L. L. Bauer, P. L. Utterback, C. S. Schasteen, P. J. Bechtel, G. C. Fahey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An experiment to determine the chemical composition and protein quality of 13 fish substrates (pollock by-products, n = 5; fish protein hydrolysates, n = 5; and fish meals, n = 3) was conducted. Two of these substrates, salmon protein hydrolysate (SPH) and salmon meal with crushed bones (SMB), were used to determine their palatability as components of dog diets. Pollock by-products differed in concentrations of CP, crude fat, and total AA by 71, 79, and 71%, respectively, and GE by 4.1 kcal/g. Fish protein hydrolysates and fish meals were less variable (approximately 18, 14, and 17%, and 1.4 kcal/g, respectively). Biogenic amine concentrations were much higher in fish protein hydrolysates as compared with pollock by-products and fish meals. Pollock liver and viscera had the highest total fatty acid concentrations; however, red salmon hydrolysate and SMB had the highest total PUFA concentrations (49.63 and 48.60 mg/g, respectively). Salmon protein hydrolysate had the highest protein solubility in 0.2% KOH. Based on calculations using immobilized digestive enzyme assay values, lysine digestibility of fish meal substrates was comparable to in vivo cecectomized rooster assay values and averaged approximately 90.3%. Also, pollock milt, pollock viscera, red salmon hydrolysate, and sole hydrolysate had comparable values as assessed by immobilized digestive enzyme assay and rooster assays. A chick protein efficiency ratio (PER) assay compared SMB and SPH to a whole egg meal control and showed that SMB had high protein quality (PER = 3.5), whereas SPH had poor protein quality (PER value less than 1.5). However, using whole egg meal as the reference protein, both fish substrates were found to be good protein sources with an essential AA index of 1.0 and 0.9 for SMB and SPH, respectively. In the dog palatability experiments, a chicken-based control diet and 2 diets containing 10% of either SPH or SMB were tested. Dogs consumed more of the SPH diet compared with the control, and similar amounts of the SMB and control diets. The intake ratios for each were 0.73 and 0.52, respectively. Salmon protein hydrolysate was especially palatable to dogs. These data suggest that chemical composition and nutritional quality offish substrates differ greatly and are affected by the specific part of the fish used to prepare fish meals and fish protein hydrolysates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2752-2765
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Fish substrate
  • Palatability
  • Pet food
  • Protein quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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