Pectins are a group of carbohydrates found in structural parts of terrestrial plants with wide industrial and biomedical applications. This study was designed to investigate the dietary effects of apple pomace-derived pectin (APDP) in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Four formulated diets were provided with different inclusion levels of APDP for 30 days: 0, 5, 10, and 20 g kg-1; referred to as control, P1, P2, and P3, respectively. In this study, 300 fish (3.56 ± 0.007 g) were randomly distributed into twelve fiberglass tanks and fed 3% of their respective body weight four times a day. At the end of the experiment, growth parameters, including weight gain, specific growth rate, and food conversion ratio (FCR) were significantly improved in P1 and P2 treatments compared to those of the other treatments. Results from proximate composition analysis showed that protein content increased, and lipid decreased in the P2 and P3 groups. Serum lysozyme, complement activity, total immunoglobulin levels, and total protein were significantly enhanced in all treatments compared to those of the control group. Gene expression results showed no significant difference in regulation of interleukin-1β (IL-1β); however, up-regulation of lysozyme, interleukin-8 (IL-8), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was observed in both P1 and P2. Unlike lipase, the activity of protease and amylase significantly increased in fish receiving different levels of APDP compared to the control (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the present findings suggest APDA as a promising feed additive for rainbow trout.
Keywords: apple pomace; growth performance; immune genes; innate immunity; pectin; prebiotic; rainbow trout.