South African Journal of Animal Science

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Effects of dietary Aloe vera crude extracts on digestive enzyme activities and muscle proximate composition of GIFT tilapia juveniles

N.N. Gabriel, J. Qiang, X.Y. Ma, P. Xu, D.N. Nakwaya


This study investigated the effects of dietary Aloe vera powder extract on the activities of digestive enzymes and muscle composition of Oreochromis niloticus (GIFT strain) juveniles. Five dietary groups were formulated in which A. vera powder was added into a tilapia feed at 0.5%, 1.0%, 2.0%, and 4%/kg feed, and fed for eight weeks. Amylase, trypsin, and lipase activities in the liver and along the alimentary canal (stomach, midgut, and hindgut) varied significantly between dietary groups. Amylase activity was significantly enhanced in the liver of fish fed 0.5, 1, and 2% dietary A. vera, and in the stomach of those fed 1%. Total amylase activity in the gastrointestinal tract (total gut) was significantly enhanced in fish fed 0.5% and 1% compared with control and those fed 4% dietary A. vera. Trypsin activity was significantly enhanced in the stomach of fish supplemented with 0.5% dietary A. vera and in the duodenum of those supplemented with 1%, 2%, and 4% dietary A. vera when compared with the control. Lipase activity was increased in the duodenum of fish fed 1.0% dietary A. vera when compared with the control. Muscle moisture content was significantly lower in all A. vera-supplemented fish, whereas protein was lower in those fed 2% and 4% A. vera diet when compared with the control. Based on second-order polynomial regression analysis, dietary A. vera inclusion level less than or equal to 1.76%, 1.82%, 2.10%/kg feed was determined to be suitable in enhancing carbohydrate, protein and lipid digestion, respectively, in GIFT tilapia in this study.

Keywords: Aquaculture, digestion enhancers, freshwater fish, medicinal herbs
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