Dr Fabio Soller, Technical Director – Asia, Diana Aqua, Bangkok, Thailand
Marine ingredients are losing space in aqua feeds due to concerns with sustainability and market price competition. Such changes put pressure on feed formulators and companies to change their traditional diet formulations to be competitive without risking the loss of quality and functionality of their products.
In shrimp feed, during the transition from marine ingredients, the modern feed formulations need to be carefully balanced for its essential nutrients composition. Furthermore, the diets need to have satisfactory appearance, durability, texture, digestibility, and low fish in-fish out ratio, while maintaining the optimal shrimp nutrition and health to minimize negative impact on the resistance to disease and stress that could lead to production, and consequently, profit losses. In this context, keeping the shrimp interested in the diets for high feed intake, with good digestibility, growth and health is vital.
Protein hydrolysates are functional solutions that could help feed formulators to move from marine raw materials to new alternatives as well as to standardize feed performances batch by batch. Their high content in peptides and free amino acids is a key driver for a balanced and performing diet to be hastily accepted by the shrimp, hence reducing feed waste and water pollution. In the long run, a properly balanced diet enhanced with these high-quality ingredients will lead to crucial returns to the feedmill and the farmer in terms of animal production and profit, strengthening their market competitiveness and environmental sustainability.