Determining the Pepsin Digestibility of Fish Meal

Friday July 06 2018

Pepsin is an endopeptidase, or a proteolytic digestive enzyme, that digests proteins in foodstuff such as meat or dairy products. It is naturally produced in humans and animals when inactive pepsinogen proteins are released into the stomach and converted with gastric acid. The resultant enzyme performs a critical digestive process known as catalyzed proteolysis that breaks down food proteins into amino acids. The rate of digestion and the percentage of food that is absorbed into the body by pepsin is known as pepsin digestibility.

The pepsin digestibility of food is routinely characterized for the prediction of amino acid yields from rendered meat and bone meal (MBM) products. It is typically comprised of up to 50% protein and extraneous trace materials and is used to optimize the composition and digestibility of animal feedstocks. Pepsin digestibility assays and mixers require extracted pepsin from the glandular layers of animal stomachs and precise agitating or heating equipment to accurately simulate digestion conditions.

Fish meal is obtained by dehydrating and granulating fish waste matter, and it has been used for centuries as an industrial fertilizer and animal feedstock. In many countries, the demand for industrial fish meal outstrips the demand for fish used for human consumption. It is a critical part of the animal husbandry sector, hence the importance fish meal quality control testing such as pepsin digestibility.

This article will explore the use of rotators in pepsin digestibility determination in more detail:

Pepsin Digestibility Rotator

Glas-Col provides a robust pepsin digestibility variable speed rotator for end-over-end mixing of up to 12 sample bottles simultaneously. Its continuous-duty motor can provide custom rotation speeds from 5 – 28 rpm for extensive periods of operation, even within an incubator at temperatures of up to 60°C. The front port of the pepsin digestibility rotator provides good visibility of sample bottles throughout the mixing process, for both gentle sloshing and rapid agitation.

This high degree of control and observation enables analysts to predict the amino acid yield of fish meal and MBM products under bespoke conditions with pepsin solutions of varying concentrations.

The pepsin digestibility rotator is useful for testing MBM products and feedstock samples for indigestible proteins, and is suitable for testing of any animal protein for an array of agricultural and husbandry applications. It is particularly suitable for determination of fish meal pepsin digestibility according to the AOAC method 971.09, which uses a strong pepsin solution of up to 0.2% for high value digestibility results.

Pepsin Digestibility with Glas-Col

Glas-Col is a leading supplier of bespoke laboratory instruments for a broad range of analytical methodologies. Our varied range of mixing equipment includes high-quality vortexers, homogenizers, and rotators for numerous applications.

Our pepsin digestibility rotator can handle substantial sample loads for demanding digestibility tests. If you would like any more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.