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Nutrients 2012, 4(8), 922-934; doi:10.3390/nu4080922
Article

Effect of Diets Supplemented with Different Sources of Astaxanthin on the Gonad of the Sea Urchin Anthocidaris crassispina

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Received: 25 June 2012 / Revised: 23 July 2012 / Accepted: 1 August 2012 / Published: 13 August 2012
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Abstract

The effect of the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis and Chorella zofingiensis, and synthetic astaxanthin on the gonad of the sea urchin Anthocidaris crassispina was studied. The basal diet was supplemented with H. pluvialis, C. zofingiensis, or synthetic astaxanthin, at two levels of astaxanthin (approximately 400 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg), to obtain the experimental diets HP1, HP2, CZ1, CZ2, AST1, and AST2, respectively, for two months of feeding experiment. The results showed that the concentrations of astaxanthin in the gonads of the sea urchins fed these experimental diets ranged from 0.15 to 3.01 mg/kg dry gonad weight. The higher astaxanthin levels (>2.90 mg/kg) were found in the gonads of the sea urchins fed the diets HP1 (containing 380 mg/kg of astaxanthins, mostly mono- and diesters) and AST1 (containing 385 mg/kg of synthetic astaxanthin). The lowest astaxanthin level (0.15 mg/kg) was detected in the gonads of the sea urchins fed the diet CZ2 (containing 98 mg/kg of astaxanthins, mostly diesters). Furthermore, the highest canthaxanthin level (7.48 mg/kg) was found in the gonads of the sea urchins fed the diet CZ1 (containing 387 mg/kg of astaxanthins and 142 mg/kg of canthaxanthin), suggesting that astaxanthins, especially astaxanthin esters, might not be assimilated as easily as canthaxanthin by the sea urchins. Our results show that sea urchins fed diets containing astaxanthin pigments show higher incorporation of these known antioxidant constituents, with the resultant seafood products therefore being of potential higher nutritive value.
Keywords: astaxanthin; Haematococcus pluvialis; Chorella zofingiensis; sea urchin; gonad; Anthocidaris crassispina astaxanthin; Haematococcus pluvialis; Chorella zofingiensis; sea urchin; gonad; Anthocidaris crassispina
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Peng, J.; Yuan, J.-P.; Wang, J.-H. Effect of Diets Supplemented with Different Sources of Astaxanthin on the Gonad of the Sea Urchin Anthocidaris crassispina. Nutrients 2012, 4, 922-934.

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