Physicochemical properties of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) meals and their apparent digestibility in white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei Boone).

Martha Elisa Rivas-Vega, Ofelia Rouzaud-Sandez, María Guadalupe Salazar-García, Josafat Marina Ezquerra-Brauer, Ernesto Goytortúa-Bores, Roberto Civera-Cerecedo


The effect of different feed processing methods on the physicochemical properties, and apparent digestibility of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) meals as ingredients in diets for white shrimp ( Litopenaeus vannamei ) was investigated. Five experimental cowpea meals were prepared: whole raw (WRC), dehulled (DC), cooked (CC), germinated (GC) and extruded (EXC). The physicochemical properties of the meals were evaluated using differential scanning calorimetry. The meals were included at 15 % in diets for L. vannamei (15.4 g) to determine firmness of pellets and in vivo digestibility of nutrients by using chromic oxide as inert marker. Six diets were evaluated: a control diet, and five diets containing the different cowpea meals. Transition enthalpy significantly decreased after thermal treatment, from 6.1 J/g in WRC to 1.4 J/g in CC, and disappeared in EXC. Firmness of pellets varied from 1.1 N in the EXC diet to 2.8 N in the WRC diet. A significant negative correlation between transition enthalpy and carbohydrate digestibility was found. Dry matter, protein, carbohydrate and lipid digestibility of cowpea meals significantly increased after germinating, cooking or extruding. It is concluded that germinated, cooked and extruded cowpea meals are highly digestible for shrimp and that enthalpy of transition is negatively correlated with the digestibility of carbohydrates.

Palabras clave

Cowpea meals; digestibility; feedstuff; shrimp feeds.

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