Journal of Oil Palm Research (Special Issue - October 2008), p. 1-7


NG Wing-Keong * ; WANG Yan * ; YUEN Kah-Hay **


In this overview, our current research on the use of palm oil-based vitamin E in aquaculture feeds will be highlighted. While most vegetable oils contain almost exclusively tocopherols, palm oil is notable because tocotrienols represent about 80% of the vitamin E content. Almost all vitamin E research in fish nutrition has focused on α-tocopherol, usually supplied as the synthetic all-rac-α-tocopherol acetate, as it is deemed the most potent of all the isoforms. Several feeding trials were carried out to investigate the deposition of vitamin E and their antioxidant activity in various tissues of tilapia and catfish fed various palm oil products and vitamin E sources. We were the first group of researchers to show that (1) the tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) extracted from palm oil is more potent than all-rac-α-tocopherol acetate as an antioxidant when used in tilapia diets; (2) fish tissues varied in their ability to accumulate tocotrienols with the highest concentrations being found in perivisceral adipose tissues, followed by liver, skin and muscle; (3) tissue concentrations of α-tocopherol, α-tocotrienol and γ-tocotrienol increased linearly in response to increasing dietary concentrations originating from added TRF. As a potent in vivo antioxidant in fish tissues, palm vitamin E will have positive impacts on seafood quality such as prolonging shelf-life, maintaining colouration of pigmented seafood and enhancing the nutritional value of seafood.


* Fish Nutrition Laboratory,
School of Biological Sciences,
Universiti Sains Malaysia,
11800 Pulau Pinang,

** School of Pharmaceutical Sciences,
Universiti Sains Malaysia,
11800 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.