Lipid digestion in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus). I: Lipid class and fatty acid composition of digesta from different segments of the digestive tract

W. M. Koven, R. J. Henderson, J. R. Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The lipid content and lipid composition of digesta from the stomach, foregut, hindgut and rectum of juvenile turbot fed a commercial diet were determined in order to examine the process of lipid digestion in this species. The moisture content of the digesta increased along the digestive tract from 71.5% in the stomach to 89.6% in the rectum. The lipid content of the digesta increased initially from 15.7% of the dry weight in the stomach to 36.1% in the foregut but thereafter decreased through 23.2% in the hindgut to 9.1% in the rectum. The proportion of triacylglycerols (TAG) in the total lipid of the digesta decreased from 63% in the stomach to 17.4% in the rectum whereas that of free fatty acids (FFA) increased from 10016 to 48.9%. The highest proportions of monoacylglycerols (MAG), diacylglycerols (DAG) and most phospholipids were observed in the lipid of the hindgut digesta. In addition, a fall in levels of neutral and phospholipid classes as digesta moved from hindgut to rectum signified absorption. Analysis of the fatty acid composition of the lipid classes TAG, DAG and MAG suggest a polyunsaturated fatty acid specificity for hydrolysis may exist. Saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) accounted for 17.9%, 45.4% and 37.0%, respectively of the FFA present in the foregut whereas the corresponding values for the rectum were 32.6%, 51.9% and 16.3%. Overall, the results suggest a PUFA specifity for hydrolysis may exist alongside the positional non-specific lipolytic activity associated with the hindgut regions of the digestive tract of turbot and that PUFA, released by lipolysis are more effectively absorbed from the digesta than monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalFish Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 May 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • digesta
  • digestion absorption
  • digestive tract
  • fatty acid digestibility
  • fatty acids
  • lipase
  • neutral lipid
  • non-specific lipolysis
  • pancreatic lipase
  • phospholipid
  • turbot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science


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