The nutritional value of a Boilie ...
This article is the second part of "What's in your Boilies"
Proteins are available in different types. To make it not too difficult, we are going to talk about animal and vegetable proteins and amino acids.
All proteins consist of amino acids (the building blocks of life). For each protein source it differs again which amino acids are in it and how many of them are in it.
There are 2 types of amino acids, essential and non-essential amino acids.
The carp itself makes amino acids, we do not call them essential amino acids. The essential amino acids have to be taken out of food because they do not make them themselves. Here, the digestion process has to make the body's own protein again. The structure of the protein of a carp is called body protein.
The most complete source for these types of amino acids are those from the body's own protein, for example fish meal, which is often used. These proteins cost slightly more effort to digest (more difficult structure) than vegetable but are more complete than the vegetable proteins.
Vegetable proteins are slightly easier to digest because the protein structure is simpler, but simply lack essential amino acids. The best digestible proteins are those that have been pretreated by enzymes. They call this pre-digested (pre-digested) and the proteins are all cut loose, so to speak, so that the fish do not have to do this themselves during digestion.
In very simple terms, the fish also uses enzymes to cut the proteins into pieces (amino acids) and then convert them into body-specific proteins for blood, new enzymes, bones, scales, and so on.
It is also important to mention that vegetable protein sources are generally much cheaper than animal protein sources. A combination is therefore also price-wise handy as well as being easier to digest for the (older) fish.
NEB - Net Protein Utilization
The net protein utilization says something about the extent to which the carp can digest the amino acids. The higher the NEB value, the less effort it takes the fish to convert all nutrients to the body's own protein, so the more complete the feed.
So if you put a lot of vegetable proteins in your boilie, it costs the fish more effort to get its complete diet (essential amino acids) and the usable protein percentage will be low. Also, the carp with feed with a low NEB value need more (different) feed to get the same proteins.
Combine protein sources
The better the combination of amino acids in the feed, the easier the fish can make proteins from it. So from plant proteins, some amino acids are easier to extract than from animal. The combination of protein sources is therefore not at all wrong. Everything that is not used is converted into stool. Many plants also contain vitamins and the like which are of course also important.
The need for proteins also differs per phase of life, but we do not go as far as that. For the enthusiasts, there is more information about Koi food when you googled on it.
Boilies with a high protein percentage
So if you have a boilie with a high protein percentage, for example 35% does not mean that the fish also has something to it. If this boilie has a lot of vegetable (cheaper) proteins, the NEB value will also be low and the fish will have little. In your pond, that means more pollution (feces).
Tricks to raise the protein percentage in boilies
There are quite a lot of vegetable protein sources with a very high protein percentage. So you can get the percentage of Raw Protein on your packaging very high so people think that it is a good (protein-rich) food, but in reality that is not the case for the fish. As long as no NEB value is mentioned or something about the usable protein, you do not know whether it is really good protein-rich food.
This also applies to animal protein sources that do have a high protein percentage but a low percentage of protein (NEB value). You see this, for example, in offal (eg meat meal) where the quality of the proteins is much less. So this is a cheap way to make a protein-rich boilie, but it will not be for the fish.
We are currently working on the calculations of our nutritional values to also include the NEB percentage in the boilies.
On the packaging you will soon find this as DCP or Digestable Crude Protein.
But what is a good protein percentage for boilies?
A boilie is an additional animal feed, the protein percentage may not be so important because the fish mainly gets its food from nature. Lobsters, mussels, proteins are available (in summer). Unlike in a pond in your garden, they can therefore gather much of their needs together. But of course there are also waters where there is so much fed and fished with boilies that it becomes almost a staple food for them.
Even if that is not the case then it is still useful to offer as complete food as possible, the chance that they will continue to eat from them is simply much greater. Especially when the NEB is high, the carp will have to make little effort to get its full nutritional needs from your boilies. You can imagine that you have an edge on your fellow fishermen ...
For wild carp, according to Japanese research, an average NEB of about 31% would be sufficient for adult fish.
Remember, it is of course fishing! Sometimes you think that you have everything perfect in terms of bait and offer and your neighbor takes off with a big bucket. Everything is relative and luck also plays a role. But there is no harm in reducing the lucky factor. If you fish with good bait, in the right place and under the right conditions, you will always be able to catch more with a good boilie.