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A technological innovation for crustacean aquaculture - AQUAVI® Met-Met


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During the week of Asian Pacific Aquaculture 2016 in Surabaya, Indonesia, Evonik Industries conducted the official launch of AQUAVI® Met-Met. AQUAVI® Met-Met is a dipeptide of two DL-methionine molecules which is used as an aquaculture feed additive.

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A technological innovation for crustacean aquaculture - AQUAVI® Met-Met

  1. 1. I think we are all aligned on the fact that the world population is growing, and it is growing fast. On top of that, the income is also increasing per capita, meaning that more and more people have access to animal protein sources. I think that Asia is a wonderful example, showing that fish is important for human nutrition worldwide. It is actually the very first protein source. If we look at the growth, we see that fish consumption is growing very fast, as fast as poultry. But there is one market that is growing even faster, and that is crustaceans. We are quite lucky with fish and shrimp because half of the production does not need to be farmed, but rather can be caught in the wild. We know that this trend is going up, therefore we have to be careful, because the natural resources are limited, with most of the stocks are already depleted. So we need to find alternatives, we cannot feed our farmed fish or farmed shrimp with marine ingredients. There is a famous ratio called “fish-in, fish-out” and that calculates how much fish you need to produce one ton of farmed fish. Having this consumption trend in mind, it must be less than one, or else it does not work. We have a very good example of this in aquaculture, actually the Salmon industry and animal production in general, has given us an example of how it’s possible to completely replace marine ingredients with vegetable and alternative raw materials in feed. So the question when it comes to shrimp, it is not whether we reduce fish meal or fish oil, but rather it is a case of when and how. Today our feeds, depending on the region, still contain at least 20 percent marine raw materials, and we believe that in the very near future that this proportion can be reduced significantly. The salmon industry has done it for a very demanding animal. There is no good reason why we cannot do that for the shrimp industry. But that requires know-how, products, and innovations in order for us to do so. At the value chain level, innovation is important. At Evonik, Atechnologicalinnovationfor crustaceanaquaculture During the week of Asian Pacific Aquaculture 2016 in Surabaya, Indonesia, Evonik Industries conducted the official launch of AQUAVI® Met-Met. AQUAVI® Met-Met is a dipeptide of two DL-methionine molecules which is used as an aquaculture feed additive. AQUAVI® Met-Met is Evonik Industries’ first peptide specifically developed for the aqua industry as it has low water solubility and therefore the leaching of the feed nutrients can be minimised. This is especially important for aquafeeds for shrimp and prawn as they are bottom feeders with different feeding habits and digestive systems to fish. Feed pellets and extrudates must be stable in the water to ensure the dipeptide breaks down and methionine becomes available for protein synthesis at exactly the right time. In 2015, no less than half of the fish, crustaceans, and shellfish consumed globally originated from aquaculture. Fishmeal being part of the feed as a protein source is a significant cost factor for farmers. Supplementation with amino acids allows significant reduction of the proportion of fishmeal in feeds. With AQUAVI® Met-Met, the dipeptide of DL- methionine which has extremely low water solubility, feed formulation can be preserved in the water and enhanced in the gut. As feeding trials in many countries have shown, AQUAVI® Met-Met is more than twice as efficient as DL- methionine. This increases the efficiency and sustainability of shrimp farming. AQUAVI® Met-Met has already been registered as a feed additive in many countries, with more to follow. The new methionine source will initially be available for shrimp and crustaceans but its efficiency is currently being tested for other species. The following is the presentation given on the morning of the official press launch in Surabaya by Gaëlle Husser, Evonik Industries Director of Industry Marketing for Aquaculture. AQUAVI® Met-Met 36 | May | June 2016 - International Aquafeed FEATURE
  2. 2. our role is as a feed additive provider for the feed mills, and to give them tools to innovate and to make shrimp feed more efficient and also more sustainable. What we realised when we looked at shrimp was that there were some specificities. Specificities in their feeding behavior, and in their digestive tract that we have to take into account when we develop products which are designed for shrimp. The first element is that the shrimp will take some time to find the pellet in the water, and then it will nibble the pellet for several minutes. This makes the shrimp feed one of the most technical feeds, because it has to be water-stable. The second element is that the digestive tract for shrimp is quite different to what we know with gastric or other animals, it has no proper stomach and it is very important that the nutrients are released in a sustained way in the digestive tract. Having that in mind, in 2007 the Evonik team started working on a solution for an efficient methionine source. In our research and development department they looked at many different options, you can use regular methionine sources that work but you need a buffer. Then they looked at coated solutions with methionine, but the issue was that with coated products was that per kilogram of product you have less of your active substance as it is diluted. As such it has never been the most efficient solution. It is also difficult to have a coated product which is stable in the very demanding and challenging feed processing environment. The last option, which was the one that was selected, was to work on a derivative of methionine, this is the option that proved to work. The product we are talking about AQUAVI® Met-Met is the dipeptide of the methionine. The reason why it works in shrimp is quite simple, the product is not soluble in the water. It means that when you add it in the feed, it also stays in the feed, so you really can control what the shrimp gets to eat. The second element for this product is that in one bag you have four products, four different so-called isomers. The shrimp can digest each of them, however, it takes a different time to digest each of these four isomers. Finally, in shrimp feed we know it is not only about nutrition or biochemical properties, particle size is also very important. That is why the particle size of this product meets the specifications of below 300 microns. International Aquafeed - May | June 2016 | 37 FEATURE