Coconut oil and beef tallow, but not tricaprylin, can replace menhaden oil in the diet of red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) without adversely affecting growth or fatty acid composition. Academic Article uri icon


  • The ability of juvenile red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) to utilize medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) and other saturated dietary lipids was investigated in two 6-wk feeding experiments. Diets contained solvent-extracted menhaden fish meal to which menhaden fish oil (control), coconut oil, corn oil, beef tallow or various levels of MCT as tricaprylin (30, 46, 65 and 80% of total lipid) were added. Diets were fed to triplicate groups of juvenile red drum in aquaria containing brackish (6%) water. In the first feeding experiment, red drum fed the control diet had the greatest weight gains and feed efficiencies. Weight gain, but not feed was slightly, of fish fed corn oil and fish fed coconut oil was slightly (P < 0.05) lower. In the second feeding experiment, fish fed coconut oil and those fed beef tallow had significantly higher weight gains and feed efficiencies than did fish fed the control diet. Fish fed the diets containing tricaprylin at all inclusion levels in both feeding experiments had significantly lower weight gains and feed efficiencies and higher levels of beta-hydroxybutyric acid in plasma. Fish fed diets with high levels of MCT also had lower (n-3) and greater (n-6) fatty acid levels in the neutral lipid fraction of muscle tissue compared with fish fed the control diet. Coconut oil and beef tallow consistently resulted in greater liver lipid deposition but had variable effects on other tissue indices. Saturated dietary lipids had variable effects on fatty acid composition of muscle polar and neutral lipid fractions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

published proceedings

  • J Nutr

author list (cited authors)

  • Craig, S. R., & Gatlin, D. M.

citation count

  • 46

complete list of authors

  • Craig, SR||Gatlin, DM

publication date

  • December 1995