The use of clinoptilolite to improve fish fillet quality
Clinoptilolite is a natural zeolite that is commonly used in various applications due to its unique structure and properties. It is a microporous aluminosilicate with a 3D structure that can selectively adsorb certain molecules, such as ammonia and heavy metals. Clinoptilolite is known for its high cation exchange capacity, high surface area, and ability to adsorb and retain toxic substances such as heavy metals and ammonia, making it useful in water treatment, soil remediation, and feed additives. In general, addition of clinoptilolite in the diet or in the water can improve the health, growth performance and feed efficiency of fish. At the same time, addition to the diet or water can improve the water quality as well, by the absorption of these toxic compounds.
One of the most significant concerns regarding fish fillet quality is heavy metal accumulation in the flesh, due to its potential negative impact on both human health and fish health. Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic can be present in water sources and can be absorbed by fish through their gills or by ingesting contaminated or wrongly supplemented feed. These metals can accumulate in fish tissues, including the fillets, over time. Consuming fish with high levels of heavy metals can pose health risks to humans, as these metals are toxic and can have detrimental effects on various organ systems. Additionally, heavy metal accumulation in fish fillets can negatively impact their fillet quality. It can cause off-flavors, unpleasant odors, and changes in texture, making the fillets less desirable to consumers. Therefore, it is crucial for aquaculture practices to act properly to reduce heavy metal content in the water and to avoid contamination of feed by these heavy metals. One of the solutions to reduce the effect of heavy metals is the use of clinoptilolite.
One clear example is the addition of clinoptilolite to the water of Nile tilapia. The addition of 1, 2 or 3 g/L improved fi sh survival, growth performance and heavy metal concentration in the water. Additionally, the heavy metal content in the fi sh fi llet was also signifi cantly decreased (Figure 7; Hamed et al., 2022).