A 56‐day feeding trial was done to investigate the interactive effects of astaxanthin (Ax) and vitamin E (α‐Toc) on the performance of kuruma shrimp (Marsupenaeus japonicus). A 2 × 3 factorial experiment was conducted with six experimental diets containing two levels of Ax (0 and 0.6 g/kg diet [Ax0 and Ax0.6]) and three levels of α‐Toc (0, 0.2 and 1 g/kg diet [α‐Toc0, α‐Toc0.2 and α‐Toc1]). The results indicated that growth performance was significantly (p < 0.05) increased in shrimp fed with the Ax0.6 × α‐Toc0.2 diet. Interactive effects between Ax and α‐Toc on the growth parameters were observed. Furthermore, pigmentation performance was significantly (p < 0.05) better in the Ax0.6 groups. Interaction between Ax and α‐Toc was also found in the Ax content of shrimp body parts. Interestingly, dietary α‐Toc helped to reduce the Ax consumption rate, promote the absorption and increase the deposition of Ax in the muscle. Shrimps from the Ax0.6 groups showed significantly (p < 0.05) improved hepatopancreatic digestive enzyme activities compared with those of the Ax0 groups. Although no interactive (p > 0.05) effects were found between dietary α‐Toc and Ax on total haemocyte count and tolerance against freshwater, dietary Ax and α‐Toc supplementation showed better performance on these two parameters. It was concluded that dietary Ax and α‐Toc functioned synergistically, and the shrimp fed with the diet containing 0.6 g Ax/kg diet Ax and 0.2 g α‐Toc/kg diet showed improved growth and pigmentation performance compared with the other groups in the current study.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.