Enzyme-treated soy protein supplementation in low protein diet improved flesh tenderness, juiciness, flavor, healthiness, and antioxidant capacity in on-growing grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)

  • Yan Song
  • LiangChao Yan
  • WeiDan Jiang
  • WeiWei Xiao
  • Lin Feng
  • Pei Wu
  • Yang Liu
  • ShengYao Kuang
  • Ling Tang
  • XiaoQiu ZhouEmail author


An 8-week feeding trial was conducted to investigate the effects of enzyme-treated soy protein (ETSP) supplementation in low protein diets on growth performance as well as flesh sensory quality and healthiness in on-growing grass carp. A total of 540 on-growing grass carp (initial average weight 325.72 ± 0.60 g) were fed six diets, which included a normal protein diet (28% crude protein) and five low protein diets (26% crude protein) supplemented with graded levels of ETSP (0.0, 0.8, 1.2, 1.6, and 2.0%). The results showed that reducing dietary protein by 2% decreased percentage weight gain, feed intake, and flesh flavor (aspartic acid, glutamic acid, histidine, and 5′-inosinic acid contents) and healthiness-related indices (linolenic acid (LA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) contents and polyunsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids ratio). Under the condition of reducing dietary protein by 2%, 0.8–1.2% ETSP supplementation restored above parameters to levels equal or superior to those in 28% crude protein diet group. Although reducing dietary protein by 2% did not deteriorate flesh tenderness and juiciness, 0.8–1.2% ETSP supplementation in low protein diets also improved the two indices compared with 28% crude protein diet. Moreover, ETSP-improved flesh quality was partly related to increased muscle antioxidant enzymes activities and their mRNA levels. In addition, ESTP-enhanced antioxidant enzyme mRNA levels were partly associated with the upregulation of NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling. Collectively, 0.8–1.2% ETSP supplementation in low protein diets improved growth performance as well as flesh sensory quality and healthiness in on-growing grass carp.


Enzyme-treated soy protein Low protein diet On-growing grass carp Sensory quality Healthiness 



Enzyme-treated soy protein


Free amino acids


5′-inosinic acid


Fatty acids


Polyunsaturated fatty acids




Protein carbonyl




Copper/zinc superoxide dismutase


Manganese superoxide dismutase




Glutathione peroxidase


Glutathione S-transferases


Glutathione reductase


Glutamate-cysteine ligase


NF-E2-related factor 2


Kelch-like-ECH-associated protein1


Target of rapamycin


Casein kinase 2



The authors would like to thank the personnel of these teams for their kind assistance.

Funding information

This research was financially supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFD0900400), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31672662), National Technology System for Conventional Freshwater Fish Industries (CARS-45), Outstanding Talents and Innovative Team of Agricultural Scientific Research (Ministry of Agriculture), Foundation of Sichuan Youth Science and Technology Innovation Research Team (2017TD0002), the Earmarked Fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-45), Outstanding Talents and Innovative Team of Agricultural Scientific Research (Ministry of Agriculture), and Sichuan Science and Technology Program (2019YFN0036).

Compliance with ethical standards

In this study, experimental methods were approved by the Animal Care Advisory Committee of Sichuan Agricultural University.

Supplementary material

10695_2019_710_MOESM1_ESM.docx (55 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 54 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan Song
    • 1
  • LiangChao Yan
    • 1
  • WeiDan Jiang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • WeiWei Xiao
    • 1
    • 5
  • Lin Feng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pei Wu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yang Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • ShengYao Kuang
    • 4
  • Ling Tang
    • 4
  • XiaoQiu Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Animal Nutrition InstituteSichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Fish Nutrition and Safety Production University Key Laboratory of Sichuan ProvinceSichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.The Key Laboratory for Animal Disease-Resistance Nutrition of China Ministry of EducationSichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduChina
  4. 4.Animal Nutrition InstituteSichuan Academy of Animal ScienceChengduChina
  5. 5.Chengdu Mytech Biotech Co., Ltd.ChengduChina

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