R. Bras. Zootec.25/Jun/2018;47(00):e20160234.
Metabolic and histologic responses of pacu (Piaractus mesopotamicus) fed diets supplemented with increasing concentrations of ractopamine
An experiment was conducted during 60 days with forty pacu males fed diets supplemented with increasing concentrations of ractopamine (0.00, 11.25, 22.50, 33.75, and 45.00 mg kg−1). Eight fish were evaluated for each experimental diet. Performance and survival rate of the fish were measured. At the end of the experiment, blood was collected to determine the levels of cortisol, triacylglycerol, and protein. Moreover, the liver was collected to determine the activities of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and malic enzymes. The fillets were collected to determine chemical composition, and histologic cuts were analyzed to verify muscle growth and deposition of adipose tissue between muscle fibers. Increasing concentrations of dietary ractopamine did not change feed intake, fillet yield, fillet content of protein and ash, and frequency of relative distribution of muscle fibers. By increasing the dietary ractopamine concentration, the serum cortisol level was elevated. Ractopamine supplementation (45.00 mg kg−1) increased serum levels of triacylglycerol and protein and reduced the activity of hepatic lipogenic enzymes and the survival rate of the fish, probably in response to the high concentration of circulating cortisol. In addition, the higher level of ractopamine supplementation evaluated in this research impaired the weight gain and feed conversion. However, 11.25 mg kg−1 ractopamine reduced the ether extract level determined in the fillet and the fat deposition between muscle fibers, improving the nutritional quality of meat.