Aquafeed vol 10 issue 2 2018

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VOL 10 ISSUE 2 April 2018

A D VA N C E S I N P R O C E S S I N G & F O R M U L AT I O N An publication

Securing the aquafeed supply chain with DNA tagging Interview - with George Lockwood Olam's new Nigeria feedmill Alternative protein sources Electrification of aquafeed dryers Performance trace minerals Deforestation-free, sustainable supply chains A sustainable, natural chemostimulant for shrimp feed

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PANCOSMA Aqua offers innovative products to support aquaculture nutrition. We bring you original feed additives, to enhance the health and performance of aquatic species. Scientifically validated through extensive field trials, PANCOSMA Aqua solutions ensure safe growth and optimum efficiency.

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Volume 10, Issue 2

A D V A N C E S I N P R O C E S S I N G & F O R M U L AT I O N

Contents •

Interview with George Lockwood


New on the market


Olam aims to increase fish farming in Nigeria with new feed mill


Alternative protein sources for the aquaculture industry poised to accelerate


Deforestation-free and sustainable supply chains for vegetable vats and proteins for aquaculture feed


* Securing the aquaculture feed supply chain


Electrification of aquafeed dryers


Enhance aquaculture nutrition with performance trace minerals


Development of a sustainable natural chemostimulant for shrimp feed


Calendar of Events





*Cover story

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4 Volume 10, Issue 2

A D V A N C E S I N P R O C E S S I N G & F O R M U L AT I O N

Index to advertisers



Aquaculture Taiwan


Aquaculture Without Frontiers Aquafeed Workshop Mexico






Famsun (Muyang)


Geelen Counterflow




International Aquaculture Forum





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George Lockwood has been steeped in aquaculture advocacy at a national level for four decades, advising law makers on aquaculture policy and legislative issues. He has been president of the World Aquaculture Society and the California Aquaculture Association, where he was instrumental in creating the National Aquaculture Act of 1980 and the California Aquaculture Act of 1982. He may best be known for his tireless efforts to see organic aquaculture standards established in the United States. His involvement in aquaculture is not just academic, however: an engineer by training, with a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University as well as an engineering degree from Northwestern University, he has start to finish hands on experience as an early pioneer of aquaculture: Ocean Farms of Hawaii grew abalone as well as sea urchins, salmon, and oysters and micro- and macro-algae to feed them.

Interview with George Lockwood AQUAFEED.COM Aquaculture in the United States has yet to live up to its potential. What went wrong? GL Modern aquaculture got started in the 1960s with catfish and a few other freshwater species, in the 1970s with shellfish and some marine fin fish, and in the 1980s with salmon and shrimp. Large corporations and small

business entrepreneurs were involved. Until the mid-1980s there was great enthusiasm for this “blue revolution.� Although the regulatory environment was problematic from the beginning, it became considerably more difficult with time. During the early 1990s major opposition to aquaculture began to

form, first with shrimp and mangrove issues, and then with salmon net pens in public waters. Much bad publicity resulted that negatively impacted consumers, government regulators, and investors. Several large American foundations provided significant funds for this adverse publicity. In addition, investment capital began

6 to be scarce due to the capture of much personal savings by tax favored Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA). Small business innovation began to decline across a broad range in American innovative enterprise due to a lack of investment capital. Capital constraints directly impacted investments in aquaculture beginning in the 1990s.

AQUAFEED.COM What role does the feed industry play in the overall development – or lack of development of the US industry? GL Feed science and feed manufacturing advanced rapidly and steadily throughout the entire development of aquaculture since the 1970s to serve the needs of aquaculture here in the US and abroad. Feed conversions and nutrient retention improved considerably along with the use of lower cost feedstuffs.

AQUAFEED.COM We cannot blame a lack of government investment in to aquaculture R&D: why hasn't it been effective in developing the commercial sector? GL The US government has invested heavily in aquaculture science and extension to serve an industry that has only experienced limited growth in the US. Much of our good technology at our outstanding universities and government laboratories has been transferred overseas. In my book “AQUACULTURE: Will it rise to its potential to feed the world?” I include “Our federal government spends approximately $100 million annually

on aquaculture research. Over the past decade this totals $1 billion, and does not include cooperative extension services and other aquaculture development at federal and state levels. Despite these large expenditures, gross sales from 1,296 domestic producers totaled a mere $732 million in 2013.” We have a good scientific base to support a large and robust industry, but because of our adverse regulatory environment, our bad public image, and an acute shortage of domestic investment capital, American aquaculture entrepreneurs cannot do their job

AQUAFEED.COM So what is the way forward? GL In my book I make a number of suggestions on how we can move ahead. Amazingly a number of new initiatives are being undertaken. Efforts are being made to educate our federal government law makers, rule makers and policy makers about the needs of aquaculture. This includes efforts by the US Aquaculture Society, the National Aquaculture Association, and a new group named Stronger America Through Seafood. The later is well funded and is employing a Washington lobbyist to work with the Congress and the Administration. Members of SATS and NAA are frequently visiting key individuals in Congress and in the Administration. New legislation has been introduced. NOAA in the Department of Commerce has developed an aggressive aquaculture plan. The NAA and USAS plan a fall 2018 conference in

Washington DC to help educate key policy makers on the potential and needs for good aquaculture. The ball is now rolling and good results are being seen.

AQUAFEED.COM To what extent do you think the public perception of aquaculture in the US has been influenced by the anti-aquaculture lobby? Would you agree that there has been a failure on the part of the industry to counter misinformation and sometimes intentional disinformation? Who should be responsible for such an effort? GL As I describe in my book, an adverse public image has been a major factor in the inability of aquaculture to reach its potential in the US. This has negatively impacted consumers, investors, regulators, and policy makers in a major way. Until recently, the aquaculture industry has not had the means to counter erroneous and misleading information, when in fact the story of good aquaculture should have a major positive impact. Our adversaries have spent millions of dollars smearing aquaculture. One US foundation had a stated objective of “demarketing farmed salmon.” From the beginning, the World Aquaculture Society has failed to organize its very strong scientific base to counter claims based upon bad science. So has the US Aquaculture Society. The National Aquaculture Association has not had the resources to take this on. However, much is changing. The leadership of the USAS is moving in the direction of being a

7 vehicle of public education about good aquaculture as is the NAA. A new group, Stronger America Through Seafood may well assume an active role for improved public relations for aquaculture. Unfortunately, unlike in Canada and other nations, our government in the US has not been willing to publicly address issues in aquaculture. The USDA through its National Organic Program has stalled progress towards the inclusion of aquaculture in its USDA Organic Final Rule that would make a major difference in the image of good aquaculture.

AQUAFEED.COM The battle to get organic aquaculture standards in the US has been a long, and from the outside, rather a baffling one. It’s been almost 30 years since Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act, and 23 years since the National Organic Aquaculture Work Group (NOAWG), was formed, with you as the chairman. Despite all your efforts, we still don't have organic standards for aquaculture. Would you explain in a nutshell (if that is possible), what the arguments are? GL It has been a long, costly and time consuming effort, so far unsuccessful. The bad public image for aquaculture as being environmentally harmful has been the major reason. A few of the eNGOs have had great success in opposing organic aquaculture. Since organic production has traditionally, and under the Organic Food Production Act of 1990, been concerned with environmental impacts with food production, much misleading and often false information about

aquaculture has heavily influenced decision makers in the domestic organic community. From the appointment of the USDA Aquaculture Working Group in 2005 until its final report in 2010, members of the National Organic Standards Board carefully studied the various issues before coming to a positive conclusion that good aquaculture was possible under OFPA and was consistent with well-established organic principles. In the interim since the favorable conclusion of NOSB in 2010 when they submitted their recommendations for organic aquaculture standards, our adversaries have been able to stop progress. Most recently, the change in our federal administration has stalled a wide range of rule-making including organic aquaculture. We have undertaken to ask everyone interested in establishing organic aquaculture in the USDA Final Rule for food production to contact Under Secretary Greg Ibach to express the need for the USDA proposed final rule to be published in the Federal Register for public comment. Many people are writing Secretary Ibach and we need many more letters to support publication.

AQUAFEED.COM What are the advantages of organic aquaculture for the US aquaculture industry? GL The adoption of USDA organic standards for aquaculture will provide a major incentive for the domestic production of fish and shellfish to replace imports. This will be possible because premium prices will be earned as they are for most other

areas of organic food production. In addition, we expect the development of considerable amounts of new consumption. Many consumers await the USDA organic label for aquaculture products. Organic food consumption in the US now accounts for around 5% of all food eaten in the US. I expect that organic seafood consumption to exceed 5%. Domestic production of our major species of salmon, shrimp, catfish and tilapia will expand, perhaps as much a by 50%. Our seafood trade deficit will be reduced and American farmers would invest and employ more domestic workers. Confidence in aquaculture would begin to be restored since there is a high level of trust by American consumers in the USDA organic label.

AQUAFEED.COM What is the status today? Is there any hope for organic aquaculture standards to be established in the US? GL During 2017, the USDA was able to gain approval of the Office and Management in the White House to publish their proposed USDA final rule for aquaculture in the Federal Register. Unfortunately publication of the proposed rule did not happen. USDA can change that by publishing their proposed rule forthwith that would allow the American organic and aquaculture communities to see what is proposed and to comment upon it over the following 90 days. Once public comments are received by USDA during the 90 day period, the USDA rule-writers will go back into confidential proceedings to consider

8 all of the comments and then proceed to amend their final rule for food production to include aquaculture. Fish and shellfish grown to these new standards would then be able to sell them using the “USDA Organic” label. With luck that could happen within 12 months. We could be that close.

AQUAFEED.COM And finally: your first aquaculture venture was here in Hawaii: Monterey Abalone Farms, a pioneering production facility utilizing deep ocean water. Do you have any plans to get your hands back in the water? GL My initial growing operations for abalone became Ocean Farms of Hawaii that also grew salmon, oysters and sea urchins in addition to abalone. These contained operations

were on-shore and were continuously provided seawater pumped from the deep ocean. Deep sea water is cold, rich in plant nutrients, and free of contamination. We grew these fish and shellfish, along with marine plants to feed them, in what is now called Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture. Overall feed retention was unusually high with substantially reduced waste. Costs were lower than in conventional production for these fish and shellfish, and we produced higher quality products. Now that financial markets are improving after our recent ten year recession, Ocean Farms may become a reality again to serve premium organic aquaculture products to American consumers. AFΩ

“AQUACULTURE: Will it rise to its potential to feed the world?” by George S. Lockwood, ISBN: 9781366393340 2017 is available from and the WAS bookstore.


NEW ON THE MARKET Syndel enters specialty feed ingredient market Syndel has been active in the aquaculture industry for more than 40 years. They are well known as the experts in fish health products, many of which are industry standards, FDA approved disease treatments, disinfection products, anesthetics and spawning agents for the global market (ex, Tricaine and Ovaprim). Over the last four decades, Syndel has built a large scale GMP factory in Ferndale, WA and has assembled an industry leading team of fish health professionals including veterinarians, biologists and manufacturing professionals. To compliment the current and longstanding core business, Syndel has added specialty feed ingredients to their already reputable product list. Syndel (formerly Western Chemical) recently hired Chris McReynolds as CEO. Chris has had a lengthy career in the aquafeed ingredients and global seafood business and is expanding the company to include specialty aquafeed products such as krill meal, a DHA algal supplement and probiotics. Chris was involved in the founding of the krill meal business at Aker Biomarine for aquaculture and has extensive experience with what is required for quality supply and understands the market. The benefits of krill are well known to many in the industry, but supply has been a challenge due to the steady

growth of the aquaculture and aquafeed industries. Syndel is one of only a few companies helping to fill the supply gap. Along with Syndel’s krill meal, another vital component of most aquatic diets is DHA, the vast majority of which is currently provided by fish oil. To respond to the potential fish oil supply fluctuations, quality inconsistencies and shortages, Syndel was fortunate to have acquired the exclusive global distribution rights to a DHA algal product called Nymega. Algae is a popular subject at feed conferences as a sustainable source of DHA and helps to supplement marine fish oil. Algae is proving to be a consistent source of valuable DHA. Nymega is a whole algal biomass with a high DHA content which aid in targeting the DHA specifications required by producers. It was created by and is produced by Heliae Development, LLC in Arizona, USA specifically for the aquafeed industry. To build a strong foothold and name in the feed ingredient business, Syndel is growing their feed and nutritional line of products through distribution. Syndel is the exclusive distributor in the US for some of Phibro Animal

Health Corp. aquaculture ingredients such as a probiotic for fish and shrimp, including Paq-Gro and Paq Protex, helping producers increase growth and yield while reducing FCR. Syndel is continuing to add to their feed and nutritional products and are an interesting company to watch.

Aquasoja launches CROMA CROMA arises from the need for a nutritional approach to match the color of sea bream produced in aquaculture to its natural color in the wild, thereby improving its acceptance and appreciation among end consumers. Farm-raised sea bream, deprived of its natural sources of pigments, has a more greyish color compared to wild sea bream. Consumers usually see this lack of natural color as a compromise in quality. CROMA’s formula has raw materials of marine and plant origin which are rich in natural pigments, namely xanthophylls, which enhance the sea bream’s natural colors. In addition, the inclusion of highly palatable marine ingredients such as fish oil, shrimp meal or squid meal will, in turn, boost the fish’s sensory characteristics. Founded in 1989, Aquasoja is Sorgal’s business area for aquaculture nutrition, a Soja de Portugal group company.


Gold Fin LLC becomes fully operational in Sultanate of Oman Fishmeal producer Gold Fin LLC has successfully commissioned its plant in the Sultanate of Oman. With years of experience in the fishmeal plant industry in India, the NPM group is moving forward with its expansion strategy, utilizing sustainable fishery resources in Gulf of Oman. With this project, the group has three fishmeal plants, two being in India. The project has been executed within a short period of 15 months since inception, thus becoming the first fishmeal plant to become fully operational in the Special Economic Zone SEZAD located at Duqm, Sultanate of Oman. The new plant has a processing capacity of 450 tons per day with provisions for future expansion. The plant employs the latest process technology and a fully automated PLC system enabling a very stringent quality control of their products. The plant is ideally located with proximity to several fishing ports along the Gulf of Oman with abundant oily

sardine resources. The company processes Omani oily sardine within 24 hours from catch. The plant is envisioned as human consumption grade and is under the final approval process. A hallmark of their operation is the establishment of zero waste discharge system through their effluent treatment. The waste water is completely recycled and reused as boiler feed and within the plant uses. The treatment system has given the company a competitive advantage due to less operational cost and trouble free and uninterrupted plant operation, says Group Director, Muhammed Basheer. They have also employed very prudent air pollution controls measures by maintaining negative pressure system in the plant and treatment through scrubber and biofiltration units. The company is also in the process of implementing ERP system with a special emphasis to Customer Relationship Management, says company CEO,

Jassim. They have also made much advancement in the GMP plus and IFFO RS 2017 certifications. SEZAD has been established to achieve ‘Vision 2040,’ the Government of Oman vision for the development and implementation of fisheries and aquaculture. The purpose of the vision is to create a profitable worldclass sector that is ecologically sustainable and a net contributor to the economy of Oman. GOLD FIN is very proud to contribute to this vision. As a part of their future expansion, the company is making feasibility study on refining oil and enrichment of Omega3 and marketing value added products.


Feed additive with flavanoids Dr. Eckel Animal Nutrition released the new product AntaOx Aqua, a pure botanical feed additive with a unique ingredient combination and reliable source of flavonoid molecules.

Flavonoids are secondary plant compounds that are known to have numerous beneficial effects in the organism. Anta®Ox Aqua is the first all-natural flavonoid-based feed additive whose effectiveness has been proven scientifically in shrimp trials. Several scientific studies have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect of Anta®Ox. Energy that is saved due to this effect can be used by the animals for growth, lactation, gestation, etc. Hence, it is the feed additive of choice to safeguard animals’ performance and physiological state in stressful times (e.g. infectious diseases, low oxygen levels, high metabolic turnover, reproduction) and to mitigate energy losses.

Anta®Ox Aqua perfectly complements other efforts at farm level to keep fish and shrimp healthy (biosecurity, hygiene, monitoring, breeding). It does not interfere with medications or water treatments. Anta®Ox Aqua offers a natural solution meeting exactly the demand for a healthy and efficient fish and shrimp production – perfectly in line with today’s consumer perceptions in regard to food safety and animal welfare. Anta®Ox Aqua has proven effective in laboratory trials as well as under commercial farm conditions – demonstrating a breakthrough for the profitability of shrimp farms throughout the world. Compared with other feed additives for aquaculture feed, Anta®Ox Aqua offers a number of

advantages. Anta®Ox Aqua is costeffective even under very competitive market conditions, as, for instance, in South-East Asia and Latin America. It is highly concentrated and works at low dosage – leaving enough space in the feed formula for maximum energy and nutrient density. Anta®Ox Aqua is for use by manufacturers of compound aquaculture feed. The powder is added to the feed during the usual pelleting process. The product has already been launched in the Philippines, and Thailand. More countries in Southeast Asia as well as China, India, Middle East and Latin America are to follow, where Dr. Eckel is currently working on a commercial release together with local distribution partners.

ADM and Cargill to launch soybean joint venture in Egypt Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and Cargill have reached agreement to launch a joint venture to provide soybean meal and oil for customers in Egypt. The joint venture would own and operate the National Vegetable Oil Company soy crush facility in Borg Al-Arab along with related commercial and functional activities, including a separate Switzerland-based merchandising

operation that would supply soybeans to the crush plant. Cargill is currently expanding the plant from 3,000 metric tons to 6,000 metric tons of daily crush capacity. The plant will be able to produce higher-protein soybean meal while reducing the need for soybean meal imports into Egypt . The joint venture will be managed as a standalone entity consisting of equal ownership by ADM and Cargill, with a

management team reporting to a board of directors appointed by the two parent companies. The joint venture’s assets will not include Cargill’s grain business and port terminal in Dekheila, or the ADM-Medsofts joint venture at the Port of Alexandria. Each company will continue its separate business activities in the country and region. AFΩ


Olam aims to increase fish farming in Nigeria with new feed mill By Sharad Gupta, Senior Vice President of Olam Grains and Head of Olam Animal Feeds & Protein.

Olam International recently began operations at its new US$50 million integrated fish and poultry feed mill at Ilorin

in Kwara State, Nigeria. With an initial annual production capacity of 75,000 metric tonnes of fish feed and potential to scale-up, the Kwara mill is Sub-Saharan Africa’s

largest and most advanced fish feed manufacturing facility. In addition to using a full odor recovery system, the Kwara mill has plans to employ sustainable technologies including an integrated rainwater harvesting program for in- house water requirements.

Olam’s new fish feed mill in Kwara, Nigeria

Nigeria is experiencing a growing demand for fish, estimated at 2 million metric tonnes per year. The country currently imports 700,000 to 800,000 metric tonnes of fish and marine products annually, resulting in a foreign exchange outflow in excess of US$1.0 billion. Fish farming has

been identified as an essential means to reduce the need for imports and meet the local supply gap and Olam International is doing just that. Olam’s new fish feed manufacturing facility will help boost feed supply in the country to meet Nigeria’s growing appetite for the protein.


“With an average size of 5,000 fish per smallholder farming employing 4-5 people (himself, family and friends), Olam’s current fish feed investments in Nigeria could generate close to 70,000 to 80,000 jobs, which will double when production capacity is expanded in the near future.” One of the barriers to increasing aquaculture production has historically been the lack of readily available, affordable and good quality floating fish feed, which currently accounts for over 70% of the local farmers’ production costs. To address this issue, Olam now supplies competitively priced, specially formulated, fullfloating freshwater fish feed which meets international quality and safety benchmarks to more than 15,000 local farmers in Nigeria. Olam’s three fish feed brands – Aqualis, Blue Crown and Ecofloat – are high in nutritional content with amino and protein balance to promote faster growth, and are tailored to the needs of the African catfish and farming practices in Nigeria. Olam is also advancing Nigerian fish farming through developing skills and R&D. They have a team of 30 field aqua technicians helping famers improve their productivity, and are offering two-year internship opportunities to 15 fish farming graduates

from top Nigerian universities who, along with Olam’s qualified aqua technicians, train farmers on best fish practices. The company has identified fish breeding as an important area to drive further productivity gains for Nigerian farmers and is preparing a blueprint to embark on this.

The Kwara mill is one of the two new feed mills marking Olam’s foray into feed manufacturing. The company’s entry into feed manufacturing builds on its existing strengths in origination, which includes extracting raw material cost efficiencies, sharing of port infrastructure, sourcing arbitrage, trading, ocean freight and risk management. The company has proven expertise and execution capabilities in Nigeria which has been successful in implementing costcompetitive projects, both brownfield and greenfield. For example, Olam already has a profitable and growing wheat milling business even as a new entrant into the field. In addition to bran from its flour mills, Olam is leveraging its local procurement network to source other inputs required for producing fish feed. Currently, the majority of fish feed raw materials are sourced from around 30,000 local corn, soybean and cassava farmers. This is helping to reduce import dependence, benefit local farming communities and generate youth employment, which are key priorities for the Nigerian economy today. Furthermore, with an average size of 5,000 fish per smallholder farmer employing 4-5 people (himself, family and friends), Olam’s current fish feed investments in Nigeria could generate

close to 70,000 to 80,000 jobs, which will double when production capacity is expanded in the near future. The September 2017 opening of Olam’s fish feed mills was presided over by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. On behalf of the President, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, commented: “This development symbolizes the national growth and stability of our nation. It will contribute to the reduction of crime and rural agenda... I would like to acknowledge (Olam's) investments in the country.”

Headquartered in Singapore, Olam is a leading agri-business operating across the value chain in 70 countries, supplying various products across 18 platforms to 23,000 customers worldwide. In 2016, Fortune magazine recognized Olam at #23 in its ‘Change the World’ list.


More information Sharad Gupta Senior Vice President of Olam Grains and Head of Olam Animal Feeds & Protein E:

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Alternative protein sources for the aquaculture industry poised to accelerate By John Bowzer, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing animal production sectors, and currently contributes more seafood to human consumption than wild-caught fisheries. The growth in the industry, along with the intensification of production practices, has increased the use of commercial aquafeeds for nearly all species. Fish meal has been a staple ingredient in commercial aquafeeds, but concerns over volatile price, stagnant supply, and sustainability of harvested fish are driving research and development of alternative proteins. Those concerns, coupled with an increasing global population and per capita consumption of seafood, highlights a need for alternative proteins to support the continued growth of the aquaculture industry. However, finding suitable alternatives to high-quality fish meal is difficult due to its exceptional palatability, high protein content, favorable amino acid profile, and good digestibility that supports growth performance and health. Advances in feed formulations continue to decrease fish meal inclusion levels in the diets of many species, but these reductions are

offset by increases in overall production and use of commercial aquafeeds in omnivorous species. Even though diets of omnivorous species contain minimal fish meal, total global production of these species is large and therefore requires large volumes of fish meal to support it (Naylor et al. 2009). Aquaculture already consumes the majority of fish meal, which also limits the opportunity to take larger shares from other industries. Cost-effective alternative proteins will need to play a bigger role in feed formulations for the industry to sustain current growth projections, but they must also maintain growth performance and health of the animals.

Alternative proteins Emerging alternative proteins include single-cell proteins (e.g., fungi, yeast, algae, and bacteria), animal byproducts, fishery byproducts, insect meals, and plant proteins. However, antinutritional factors, poor digestibility, unfavorable amino acid profiles, large variations in quality, poor palatability,

limited or irregular availability, government policies, and cost constraints can diminish the inclusion level of these various alternative protein sources. Additionally, tolerance to alternative proteins varies by species and life stage, requiring an assortment of options to suit specific applications. For example, many plant proteins are cost-effective alternatives, but they typically are deficient in some essential amino acids (e.g., lysine and methionine), high in fiber, and contain anti-nutritional factors which affect performance in some species (Ayadi et al. 2012). On the other hand, animal proteins tend to have more desirable amino acid profiles, but large variability in quality and government policies can reduce their inclusion. Fishery byproducts are an attractive alternative, but high ash content along with concerns of a steady supply to support processing plants are major constraints (Naylor et al. 2009). Single -cell proteins have a high protein content and similar amino acid profiles to fish meal, but cost constraints, palatability, and limited

17 availability can reduce the functionality in formulations for feed manufacturers. Even with these shortcomings, blending alternative protein sources with supplemental amino acids can provide cost-effective solutions that meet the nutritional requirements of the target species. Recently, this approach has been widely used in the aquaculture industry to reduce the inclusion of and reliance on fish meal, but improved alternative proteins and better understanding of nutritional requirements of species will be needed to continue this progress. One example of a new protein source is PROPLEX® T, a recently launched high-quality alternative protein (74% crude protein) that provides excellent digestibility and high levels of essential amino acids. The product is a dried fermentation biomass derived from ADM’s amino acid production process in Decatur, Illinois. The advanced fermentation facility provides a consistent supply of this product with high-quality standards that minimize nutritional variation in composition. The use of PROPLEX T offers a suitable alternative to fish meal due to its similar amino acid profile and high crude protein content. It is ideally suited in the diets of carnivorous species and early life stages by enabling greater formulation flexibility when utilizing a combination of alternative proteins. New products must demonstrate utility in a wide range of species in order to be adopted by feed mills that may produce a multitude of aquatic diets. Experimental trials utilizing PROPLEX T in combination with other alternative proteins were conducted at various academic institutions,

ADM’s PROPLEX® T is a high-quality alternative protein (74% crude protein) that provides excellent digestibility and high levels of essential amino acids.


‌ to maintain industry growth and reduce the impact on reduction fisheries, cost-effective alternative proteins must continue to be developed. It is clear that a blending approach of alternative proteins is necessary to achieve acceptable

performance due to limitations of any single ingredient to replace fish meal.

government research stations, and independent research facilities to assess digestibility, growth performance, and acceptability in practical feeds. PROPLEX T was successfully included in diets for a variety of species, including red drum, Florida pompano, rainbow trout, channel catfish, and Pacific white shrimp. Growth performance was maintained in diets for fish species when PROPLEX T was used at up to approximately 15% of the diet and 10% for shrimp diets. However, in practical diets with multiple protein sources, typical dietary inclusion levels would be up to approximately 10% in fish and 5% in shrimp for most applications. Digestibility of essential amino acids ranged from 89-96%. Additional studies are in progress to demonstrate functionality in other species and life stages. Traditionally, the aquaculture industry has relied on fish meal due to its many nutritional advantages over other commonly used protein sources. Consequently, it has been challenging to find less expensive alternatives without negatively affecting performance. However, to maintain industry growth and reduce the impact on reduction fisheries, cost-effective alternative proteins must continue to be developed. It is clear that a blending approach of alternative proteins is necessary to achieve acceptable performance due to limitations of any single ingredient to replace fish meal. The development of commercially viable products, such as PROPLEX T, to reduce the reliance on fish meal while providing economical solutions will continue to be a focus of the industry. Development of

alternative proteins is key to ensuring continued growth of the aquaculture industry without sacrificing wild fish populations.

References Ayadi, F.Y., K.A. Rosentrater, and K. Muthukumarappan. 2012. Alternative protein sources for aquaculture feeds. Journal of Aquaculture Feed Science and Nutrition. 4(1):1-26 Naylor, R.L., R.W. Hardy, D.P. Bureau, A. Chiu, M. Elliott, A.P. Farrell, I. Foster, D.M. Gatlin, R.J. Goldburg, K. Hua, and P.D. Nichols. 2009. Feeding aquaculture in an era of finite resources. Proceedings of National Academy of Science. 106(36): 1510315110. (PROPLEX is a registered trademark of Archer Daniels Midland Company.)

AFâ„Ś More information

Dr. John Bowzer, Research Scientist, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) E:


Deforestation-free and sustainable supply chains for vegetable fats and proteins for aquaculture feed By Emanuele Novelli, Ph.D., Sustainability Consultant at Meo Carbon Solutions GmbH; Myriel Camp, System Manager at ISCC System GmbH.

Aquaculture plays a prominent role for the satisfaction of current and future human dietary needs. According to FAO, by 2025 the share of aquaculture on the total world fishery production will grow by 8 %points, from 44% to 52%, reaching the level of about 100 million tons. Achieving this production level depends on a series of factors such as availability and accessibility of good production locations, sufficient

investments in infrastructures, capital availability, and availability of fish feed in the required quality and quantities. With regard to fish feed, a substitution effect between traditional fish meal/oil and vegetable meal/oil can be observed. When looking at specific terrestrial plant ingredients such as e.g. soy or maize, it has to be noted that these feed ingredients partly originate from areas rich in biodiversity and carbon stock, often

connected to deforestation or grassland conversion. This article focuses on the impacts of terrestrial plant ingredients production for aquaculture feed and provides insights into solutions that certification schemes like ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) are able to offer for the implementation of deforestation-free and sustainable feed supply chains.


Use of vegetable fats and proteins in aquafeed According to the FAO (2011), the most prominent aquafeed ingredients used for the three most relevant finfish species groups are vegetable ingredients of terrestrial origin, making up around 60% to 80% in weight (figure 1). With 30% share, rapeseed meal is the most relevant meal, closely followed by soybean

meal, wheat and maize. There has been a substitution effect between traditional fishmeal and vegetable meal mainly driven by availability and market prices. Figure 2 shows that in 2016 international market prices for fish meal were four times higher than the ones of soybean meal, while the price for fish oil was more than double than the one for alternative vegetable oils, such as rapeseed and soybean oils.

Taking into consideration the growth of the aquaculture sector, the lower price of vegetable-meals and the substitution trend described above, it is a question whether the needed future and rapid expansion of terrestrial feed production for aquaculture will be able to cope with the necessary social and environmental requirements set by retailers and demanded by consumers.

Fig. 1. World finfish aquaculture production and diet of the three most relevant species group (fish production referred to year 2014).

Challenges of sourcing sustainable feed


Cyprinids and Cichlids based on averages from diet data of China (2008). Salmons based on diet data from Norway (2010). 2 Catfish not included 3 Fishmeal, 64/65%, Bremen fca; Soya meal, 49%,Arg,cif Rott; Rape meal,34%,fob ex-mill Hmb; Fish oil, any orig, cif N.W.Eur; Soybean oil, Brazil, fob; Rape oil, Dutch, fob ex-mill 4 Monthly notation until April 2016

Fig. 2: Prices of fish-, soybean-, rapeseed- oil and meal (2011 – 2016).

Due to the fact that feedstock used for aquafeed often originate from highly biodiverse and carbon rich areas special attention has to be put on the risks associated with its production, such as deforestation or the conversion of highly biodiverse grassland. Effects of deforestation linked to soybean production have been already highlighted by many NGOs (figure 3).


Fig. 3: Excerpts of reports and articles from WWF and Mongabay websites highlighting soybean cultivation related deforestation risks.

Given this background, it is a challenge for the feed industry to keep promise of the no deforestation

commitments and their responsible sourcing policies. Leading players of the feed industry have set ambitious

objectives (figure 4), however, there still needs to be a lot done, looking at the current land use change level.


Fig.4. Sourcing policy position of leading aquafeed producers.


ISCC Solutions for sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains for feed In order to address the abovementioned challenges and to keep promise of the no deforestation commitments and responsible sourcing policies, more and more companies are using ISCC to prove compliance and show their commitment towards sustainable production. ISCC is a globally leading certification system, which provides solutions for sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains. It has been developed through an open multi-stakeholder process and is currently governed by an association with nearly 100 members. The ISCC system covers all kinds of agricultural, forestry and alternative raw materials and can be applied in various markets, including the feed, food and biochemical market as well as in the bioenergy sector. Since its start of operation in 2010 over 17,000 certificates in more than 100 countries have been issued. ISCC provides full traceability along supply chains through site-specific certificates issued by independent certification bodies, who verify compliance with high ecological and social sustainability requirements, including land and labour criteria such as the protection of biodiversity, the preservation of carbon sinks, good agricultural practices and the respect of human and social rights. Compensation for new plantings is not allowed. Another core pillar of ISCC certification is the carbon footprint

verification as well as the non-GMO production for feed, which both can be applied on a voluntary basis. All ISCC certificates are published on the ISCC website and enable each player to source sustainable products from any certificate holder. In order to verify that no illegitimate land use change has taken place, ISCC uses GRAS (Global Risk Assessment Services), a web-based tool based on remote sensing technology which provides comprehensive sustainability -related geo-referenced information on biodiversity, land use change, carbon stock and social indices. Occurrence of land use change can be verified by using a simple to interpret greenness index called the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI). Using EVI time series from 2000 until today, GRAS users can differentiate among the types of green cover, see the history of the land use, and most importantly detect the exact point in time of land use change (see example in figure 5). For producers, the use of GRAS is a secure and credible way to prepare

Increasing demand for aquaculture feed causes a shift from the use of fish meal/oil to vegetable meal/oil as feed ingredient. Along with this shift comes the risk of sourcing raw material associated with deforestation or grassland conversion as well as other environmental and social problems.

for sustainability certification and to verifiably implement no-deforestation commitments. Auditors can use it for risk analysis prior to certification.

Fig. 5. GRAS can identify the exact point in time when land use change has taken place. Example Brazil.

25 Another problem the aquaculture industry is facing is the loss of mangroves due to expansion of aquaculture production into mangrove areas. GRAS is in the position to clearly identify mangroves and show any land use change with a high accuracy, using high resolution satellite images. The GRAS tool is able to map existing aquaculture operations based on polygons provided by farm operators and it analyzes mangrove destruction in the past until today (see figure 6). Furthermore, it points out areas of high biodiversity in the vicinity of the farm operations and offers a continuous monitoring of the operations and the respective surrounding areas (e.g. annually).

Conclusions Increasing demand for aquaculture feed causes a shift from the use of fish meal/oil to vegetable meal/oil as feed ingredient. Along with this shift comes the risk of sourcing raw material associated with deforestation or grassland conversion as well as other environmental and social problems. Due to this risk, feed producers are increasingly under observation of Non - Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and consumers and at the same time retailer request proof that supply chains are sustainable and deforestation-free. Credible certification is essential in order to have a real impact on the previous mentioned challenges. The ISCC system applies high sustainability standards and strict rules of implementation and verification. Through

Fig. 6. GRAS can accurately map mangroves using high-resolution Radar and Optical imagery.

the use of innovative tools and technologies ISCC ensures a credible, effective and cost efficient certification process. The combination of ISCC together with the GRAS tool allows its users to source sustainable and deforestation-free material. ISCC certification is therefore an important pillar in sustainability strategies of companies, which can be used for communication with customers.

Bibliography FAO (2011): Demand and supply of feed ingredients for farmed fish and crustaceans. FAO (2016): The state of world fisheries and aquaculture. FAOSTAT (2017): Global soybean production and cultivation (years 1995 - 2025). WWF (2016): The soy scorecard.

AFâ„Ś More information Dr. Emanuele Novelli, Sustainability Consultant at Meo Carbon Solutions GmbH


Myriel Camp, System Manager at ISCC System GmbH

WWF (2017): The gran Chaco. Mongabay (2017): New soy-driven forest destruction exposed in SouthAmerica.



Securing the aquaculture feed supply chain DNA tagging to trace feed to its source in minutes By Ulrike Hodges, Ph.D., Laurie Clotilde, Ph.D., and Anthony Zografos, Ph.D., SafeTraces. Eliminating trash fish from aquaculture feed, finite fish meal and fish oil supplies, and retailer and consumer demands for sustainable aqua feed sources – these are key drivers behind the aquaculture feed industry’s push to improve tracing and tracking feed across the global supply chain. Enhanced traceability is particularly important, as aquaculture is the fastest-growing food-producing industry in the world1. The origin of fishmeal is a major challenge to the sustainability of aquaculture because the fisheries used for creating feeds may be poorly managed and damaging to the marine environment. The use of trash fish (low value fish), still commonly used in much of Asia, has been a growing concern, especially with regard to the sustainability of farming practices and issues surrounding environmental degradation2. Retailers and consumers too are increasingly demanding assurance that unacceptable fish species are not entering the supply chain via fishmeal to species such as shrimp. In an effort to replace trash fish and to

progressively eliminate reliance on overharvested fisheries, the aquafeed industry is moving toward sourcing fishmeal from sustainable fisheries or farmed fish trimmings, while also looking to replace fishmeal altogether. Alternative proteins, such as grains or pulses, as well as new proteins, such as insect meal, are among the most developed options. Production of sustainable alternatives such as bacterial, algal and insect-based proteins is expected to reach about 10% of the market by 20233.

Current options to establish traceability Proving that aqua feed has been sourced sustainably, however, remains a significant challenge. The aqua feed industry employs a number of technologies, chain-of-custody traceability systems and certifications to verify whether a product has been sourced responsibly. Yet, to date, only about 5% of seafood in aquaculture is certified as sustainable4. Recent technological developments

have advanced the ability to test for the authenticity of fish, including DNA -based techniques. They are able to identify species, even those that are closely related. An emerging technology in genetics, nextgeneration sequencing (NGS) or highthroughput-sequencing, has proven successful in identifying separate species in fish feed, to test for the use of endangered species during production. While these technologies can determine the species of fish or even a mixture in feed, they are very expensive and cannot differentiate the DNA of species within a region well enough to determine the exact geographical origin5. Chain-of-custody traceability systems are used by standards to certify how seafood products pass through the various stages of a supply chain — from harvest of the resource to production and distribution of the finished product. In their simplest form, these systems trace a product one step up and one step down the supply chain. Certification such as BAP practices rely on these B-2-B systems to stimulate the aquaculture sector to

28 become more sustainable6. In light of the high cost and complex implementation requirements of the existing traceability systems, adoption is largely limited to private industry in developed countries, with many developing countries still exhibiting low traceability7.

What’s the alternative? DNA-tagging, a technological breakthrough A fast-growing, high-volume industry such as aqua feed, requires a cost effective, highly scalable traceability technology in order to support its growth and meet the increasingly challenging sustainability requirements. While the existing systems have shown great promise, they cannot close the gaps in the supply chain, as they rely heavily on close cooperation of supply chain participants across the globe.

marketing a DNA barcode dispensing system that integrates seamlessly into existing bag or bottle-filling lines and can produce 20 or more unique DNA barcodes per minute. The D-ART 3000 system houses a pre-set number of tanks, each containing an individual DNA sequence, from which new barcodes are mixed. A ruggedized PLC controller specifies the sequence of DNA barcodes to be delivered. An intelligent, proprietary algorithm sequences the DNA barcodes to maintain integrity, while the SafeTraces web-based data services ensure that every DNA barcode is unique and maintain the DNA barcode corresponding source information indefinitely. Before a bag or bottle reaches the filling station, the system reads the 2D barcode (label) on the bag and links it to the new DNA barcode. As the bag is

SafeTraces has a groundbreaking approach to establishing full traceability for bulk products, such as aqua feed ingredients. Its patented technology enables the SafeTraces equipment to rapidly create unique DNA barcodes for each bag or bottle. An essentially infinite number of unique DNA barcodes exists, and each can be linked to any supply chain ID, coupled with a Blockchain-based or centralized code registry system to enable highly granular tagging. These dynamic DNA barcodes can change from lot to lot, even if the lot is as small as a single bag or bottle. SafeTraces has patented and is

Fig. 1. The SafeTraces D-ART 3000.

being filled, a nozzle inside the chute coats the product directly with the unique DNA barcode. SafeTraces provides the consumables needed to create the barcodes, including DNA sequences and dispersing agents, which can vary depending on application.

The DNA barcodes can be read within minutes on-site using a simple off-theshelf test instrument and SafeTraces test kit. They are stable beyond the shelf life of most commodities. At any point in the supply chain, the DNA barcode and 2D barcode can be reconciled. For example, if the 2D barcode on the bag or bottle is deliberately or accidentally removed, anyone with valid credentials can test a sample to identify the product source as well as transaction history within minutes.

29 The SafeTraces system is the only solution on the market that closes the gap between physical product and digital record at scale, without disrupting existing processing steps. Developed for the low margin, high volume food industry, these DNA barcodes offer a cost-effective solution to verifying the sustainability of the supply chain and can easily be applied to other commodities.

DNA tagging for commodities beyond aquafeed The lack of transparency in the global supply chain plagues many other global commodities. In particular, food adulteration and fraud present major threats to food safety and supply, costing the global food industry $30-40 billion annually. Prompted to a large degree by consumers and governments demanding full transparency of the food supply, processors, wholesalers, and retailers need new ways to trace and verify that food products and ingredients are pure, safe, sustainably sourced, organic, GMO-free, etc. The SafeTraces DNA tagging solution extends easily to other liquid and dry commodities, such as coffee, or beans, as well fresh fruits, and vegetables. Edible, invisible, FDA approved DNA barcodes are generated by customers on-site and carry information about producer, processor, lot number, harvest date, packing date, etc. For all types of goods, on-site testing at any point in the supply chain reveals adulteration

and verifies the product source within minutes, using a simple test instrument and test kit. In addition to providing the industry with certainty about the source of their products or ingredients, SafeTraces solutions also enable third party certification agencies to confidently certify products with portable off the shelf technology. To date, SafeTraces provides the only complete on-food source assurance solutions for bulk products that protect producers, processors, and consumers. To find out more, go to:

Edible, invisible, FDA approved DNA barcodes are generated by

customers on-site and carry information about producer, processor, lot number, harvest date, packing date ...

References 1

aquaculture-novel-feeds-for-a-sustainable -blue-revolution/ 2

2109.2012.03234.x 3

resources/Fish2.0-FISHFEED-InvestorInsights.pdf 4,5,7

More information

https:// documents/1020667_Winkelhuijzenet% 20al._A%20Horizon%20Scan%20on% 20Aquaculture%202015-Traceability.pdf 6

documents/IEPC-Final-Report-2015Dec.pdf 8

Dr. Ulrike Hodges VP Business Operations, SafeTraces E: AFâ„Ś


Electrification of aquafeed dryers New technology will reduce energy consumption of the drying process by up to 65% By Sander Geelen, Managing Director, Geelen Counterflow.

The grinding, extrusion, drying, coating and cooling of one metric ton of aquafeed requires between 250 and 380 kWh of thermal and electrical energy, depending on the product specs and process efficiency. Accounting for about 50% of that is the dryer. For a 10 ton per hour dry aquafeed production line, companies typically spend between 200.000 and 300.000 dollars per year on gas. So where better to start to improve an aquafeed plant’s energy efficiency, reduce its CO2 emissions and lower its operational costs? Electrification has been a buzz-word for some time in many industries. In transport, the superior efficiency and lower operational costs of electric drive-trains have already triggered a revolution. In home and officeconstruction, electric heat pumps have proven that connections to the natural gas grid are no longer required. In industry, electrification with heat pumps is one of the solutions being developed along with bio-fuels and hydrogen, to replace fossil fuels and make progress towards reaching the goals of the Paris climate agreement. In homes and offices, heat pumps are known for ‘magically’ generating around 3 to 5 units of thermal energy

for every unit of electrical energy consumed. In other words, their Coefficient Of Performance (COP) in that case is between 3 and 5. That sounds like a perpetuum-mobile, which it is not of course. All that heatpumps do is to transform low temperature heat into high temperature heat. They always consume not only electricity, but also a lot of low

temperature heat from an external source. In buildings that external source can be outside air, or energy contained in ground water or the earth. Up to recently most heat pumps were only capable of boosting temperatures to no more than 80°C. The smaller the temperature difference,


In recent years a new generation of heat pumps has been developed which can achieve

temperature boosts to as much as 125°C. the better the COP. In recent years a new generation of heat pumps has been developed which can achieve temperature boosts to as much as 125°C. This enables a quantum leap in the thermal efficiency of the drying process. Looking at the energy balance of a typical aquafeed drying process, there are basically six major energy flows:

the energy contained in the incoming hot product, the outflowing warm product, the incoming ambient air and the outflowing exhaust air, plus radiation, plus the energy consumed by gas burners or steam heat exchangers. Radiation in a properly insulated dryer is negligible. The outflowing exhaust air therefore contains nearly all the energy that the gas burners or steam heaters have injected into the process plus the net energy contribution of the product. That energy has been used to evaporate water from the kibbles and to warm up the exhaust air so it can contain as much water as possible without condensation. There is a big opportunity to improve the overall efficiency of the dryer if we can recover energy from the exhaust air and re-use it in the drying process.

That is what Geelen Counterflow’s R&D team started work on when the goal of developing a 100% electric dryer was first defined. Since 2014 we have spent thousands of R&D hours developing and testing the Counterflow Electric Dryer. Most of 2016 was spent testing the new technology at 1:8 pilot scale, connected to an operational 11 mtph. extrusion line in a super premium petfood plant. We monitored the situation on site and by Remote Diagnostics. Many months’ worth of process data were collected and analyzed. The Energy Recovery Unit with integrated CIP system (Cleaning in Place) went through many iterations, minimizing the cleaning frequency for the plant’s maintenance team. At the end of 2016 we finished testing and started ‘translating’ the lessons learned to a

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33 full scale unit. Most of 2017 we were testing components at full scale and optimizing cost, manufacturability and access for maintenance. During testing in 2016 we found a COP (Coefficient Of Performance) between 2,4 and 3,0 depending on the required drying air temperature for a given product. Net energy consumption of the dryer is reduced by up to 65%. Where our Counterflow Dryers on gas or steam will typically consume no more than 2700 kJ per liter of evaporated water, the Counterflow Electric Dryer will require less than 1000 kJ. Since dryers on gas consume around 50% of the total extrusion line’s energy, a very big improvement in overall energy intensity per ton of product can be achieved. CO2 emissions per ton of product can be reduced by 99%, provided electricity is from certified renewable sources. Up to 65% of water is recovered. The above savings will translate into a significant reduction in the operational costs of drying. The exact number depends on the price of gas and electricity, but even in European countries with relatively low gas prices such as the Netherlands, the energy cost savings are higher than 25%.

Optional hybrid configuration The first full scale unit will be built for a customer that insists on keeping all options open, so we are installing gas burners as well as heat pumps with heat exchangers. This provides an optional temperature ‘boost’ function for products that require higher drying air temperatures. It also provides redundancy of the heat source and a fall back scenario for when electricity costs go up or gas costs go down. One of the big unknowns here is future energy- and carbon tax policy. The hybrid configuration opens up the opportunity to optimize drying costs as a function of energy prices; running the dryer on the heat pump if electricity prices are low during the night, or when there is ample low cost electricity on the grid from windmills or solar panels; and running the dryer on gas if electricity prices are high.

Retrofit The Geelen Counterflow Electric Dryer’s compact air system has been designed so it can be retrofitted to existing multi-deck counterflow dryers with MkII or MkIII air systems. This means that the dryer itself and most

of the components of the air exhaust system can be retained, while the air recirculation system will be completely replaced within the same footprint. New items such as the Counterflow Recovery Unit and the heat-pump must be added.

CO2 emissions per ton of product can be reduced by 99%, provided electricity is from certified renewable sources. Up to 65% of water is recovered. Total cost of ownership If you are considering expanding or upgrading aquafeed production capacity, it is worthwhile to analyze the developments in energy markets and energy- and carbon-tax policies. Bear in mind that your new dryer should run for 30 years, consuming more energy than any other equipment in your plant. Depending on where your plant is located, you may find that, in addition to the significant environmental benefits, the financial pay-back of this clean drying technology is shorter than you expect.

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Flowsheet The Geelen Counterflow Electric Dryer recovers most of the energy contained in the exhaust air by passing that warm, wet air (1) through a Counterflow Energy Recovery Unit (2). In that heat exchanger, relatively cold water from the heat pump (3) triggers condensation of the warm wet air. During condensation, energy is recovered from the air and transferred to the water (4) flowing back towards the heat pump (5). The heat pump then uses that energy plus electricity to boost the temperature of another water circuit to 125°C (6) which is used by heat exchangers next to the dryer to generate hot air (7) for drying the wet product. The ‘spent air’ (8) is exhausted to avoid food safety risks, but it now contains much less fines and odor molecules as these have been transferred to the condensate (9) which can be re-used in the process or passed to the water treatment system.

More information

Sander Geelen Managing Director, Geelen Counterflow AFΩ



Enhance aquaculture nutrition with performance trace minerals Research shows numerous benefits from supplementing aquatic animal diets with performance trace minerals. By Mihai Sun, Ph.D., and Cláudia Figueiredo-Silva, Ph.D., aquaculture nutritionists, Zinpro Corporation. Even with great advancements by both academia and industry, gaps remain in establishing accurate nutrition requirements for aquatic species and finding alternate ingredient sources to successfully replace fish meal. Alternate ingredients are often limited in concentration and availability of several essential nutrients, including trace minerals. Trace minerals are essential for all animals, including aquatic animals.

These nutrients are essential for growth and development, immune response, nutrient regulation, enzyme activity, energy metabolism, bone and cartilage integrity, reproduction and epithelial tissue integrity (Figure 1). Supplementing fish and shrimp diets with adequate levels of Zn, Fe, Mn, Cu and Se will be critical to provide more precise dietary formulations based on nutrients, rather than ingredients such as fish meal.

Historically, most fish and shrimp research was accomplished using inorganic forms of trace minerals in semi-purified diets. Results of these early studies have limited application for today’s commercial feeds that are formulated to meet challenging production conditions, such as increased densities and disease challenges. In addition, animal breeding advancements are providing the industry with a faster growing juvenile, compared to those commonly grown in earlier years. All these changes need to be carefully considered as commercial feed manufacturers set up trace mineral specifications to maximize aquatic animal wellness and performance.

Trace mineral form matters

Fig. 1: Why trace minerals are important for aquaculture.

Trace minerals are available in three varieties: inorganic, organic and performance. These three mineral types vary at the most basic molecular level, and only one category – performance trace minerals – provides consistent animal performance.

37 • Inorganic trace minerals are the most basic and inexpensive form. They consist of trace minerals bound to non-carbon containing molecules, such as a sulfate or an oxide. • Organic trace minerals are those whose metal is bound to a carboncontaining molecule. However, the degree to which organic trace minerals perform depends on the strength and stability of the link between the mineral and the carboncontaining molecule. Additionally, the aspect of how vital that molecule is to animal health and performance, determines its usefulness. • Performance trace minerals are the only form of trace mineral that provides consistent animal performance. Performance trace minerals are bound to an amino acid ligand that is selected to maximize stability and enhance absorption. Amino acid selection is critical as variation exists between amino acids in absorption efficiency. Zinpro Performance Minerals® (ZPM) have been proven to deliver improved performance to aquatic species over many years of research.

Performance Trace Mineral Benefits Stability The common industry practice of separating a vitamin premix from a trace mineral premix is primarily due to the high oxidation occurring from inorganic trace minerals, which have been commonly used in animal feed for decades. For example, a recent

a Storage period was 120 d b Sources of trace minerals in premix were sulfates and oxides c Sources of trace minerals in premix were ZINPRO® zinc methionine, MANPRO® manganese methionine, CuPLEX® copper lysine and METH•IRON® ferric methionine yz Means lacking a common superscript letter differ, P < 0.05 Shurson et al., 2011. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech. 163:200

Fig. 2. Retentiona of vitamin activity in premixes containing sulfates and oxides or Zinpro Performance Minerals.

feed quality study (Shurson et al., 2011; Figure 2) showed that a vitamin -mineral premix package, within a 120 -day trial, lost on average 36 percent of its activity when mixed with inorganic trace minerals. This same study showed that vitamin activity losses were on average 40 percent to 50 percent less than what occurred with inorganic forms during the same period if vitamins were mixed with ZPM sources instead. This decreased percentage of loss in vitamin activity is comparable to losses observed in a vitamin premix containing no trace minerals over the same period. In aquatic feed, ingredients such as fish oil and pigments are incorporated in the formula to meet animal growth and physiological needs. However,

ingredients such as DHA, EPA and carotenoids are vulnerable to oxidation in the presence of inorganic trace minerals. Including trace minerals from ZPM sources will improve feed quality in a significantly positive way.

Growth Performance Different trace mineral forms result in animals achieving different growth performance results. Recent research (Jintasataporn et al., 2015) demonstrated that P. vannamei shrimp fed a recommended mineral level, combining Availa®Zn (from Zinpro) and zinc sulfate, had a significantly higher growth rate compared with P.

38 vannamei shrimp fed an ISO-dose of zinc sulfate alone. In another study, Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) fed Availa-Zn showed a numeric improvement in weight increase with greater final weight (Figure 3) and feed efficiency compared to salmon fed solely zinc sulfate (Pavez et al., 2016).

Trace minerals are more relevant in today’s demanding aquaculture system than in the past. Feeding the right form of trace mineral is fundamental for improving the performance and immune function of aquaculture species.

a Availa-Zn zinc amino acid complex; Treatments: Sulfate, 60 ppm Zn from ZnSO4; Sulfate: Availa-Zn, 60 ppm Zn from ZnSO4 + 60 ppm Zn from Availa-Zn; 60 ppm Zn from Availa-Zn yz Means lacking a common superscript letter differ, P < 0.01

Fig. 3. Effect of Availa-Zn on final weight of Atlantic Salmon.

the immune parameter, showing that P. vannamei shrimp fed ZPM alone, or in combination with sulfate, had a significantly lower mortality rate compared to shrimp fed solely inorganic zinc.

More information

Conclusion Dr. Mihai Sun

Immune Response Trace minerals have the potential to help improve an animal’s immune response when the right form is fed. The previously referenced study by Jintasataporn and colleagues (2015) indicated that P. vannamei shrimp fed ZPM, or a combination of ZPM and sulfate, had either a significant or numerically higher immune response compared to feeding an inorganic form only. A follow-up Vibrio harveyi challenge showed a similar trend for

Trace minerals are more relevant in today’s demanding aquaculture system than in the past. Feeding the right form of trace mineral is fundamental for improving the performance and immune function of aquaculture species. Research results demonstrate that including Performance Trace Minerals from Zinpro can deliver improved performance and enhance immune response in modern aquaculture systems. AFΩ

Dr. Cláudia Figueiredo-Silva Learn more about Zinpro Performance Minerals for aquaculture at:


Development of a sustainable natural chemostimulant for shrimp feed By Charles Derby Ph.D., Anant Bharadwaj Ph.D., and George Chamberlain Ph.D.

The development of fishmeal alternatives in the aquaculture of shrimp has been a benefit to the industry, but these feeds require the addition of chemostimulants to enhance their attractability and palatability. Marine animal meals have typically been used as protein sources and palatants, but sustainable, cost-effective alternatives are needed. This article describes our development of an effective non-marine and non-animal meal chemostimulant. Aquaculture feeds use a large share of the world’s supply of fish meal and

other marine animal meals (Alltech, 2017), and the global supply of marine meals and oils is on a downward trend and so the supply cannot expand to meet the increasing demand for aquaculture feeds (Rabobank, 2015). Alternative sources of protein are being pursued (Naylor et al., 2009). Plant proteins such as soy products and livestock meals are regarded as good alternatives to fish meal and are increasingly being used in aquafeed formulations as they are readily available, economical, and sustainable (Chamberlain, 2010). This is true in the aquaculture of Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, the predominant cultured shrimp in the

world. However, high-soy feeds are relatively poor in terms of attractability and palatability to shrimp, which results in feed wastage, low feed conversion, and ultimately reduced profitability. Thus, attractants are typically included in feeds to improve their attractability and intake and to reduce feed wastage. Most attractants are derived from marine animal ingredients, but there is a need to reduce their use in order to keep feeds sustainable (Naylor et al., 2009, Chamberlain, 2010). In some cases, aquaculture byproducts are recycled as feed ingredients, but these pose the risk of disease transmission. Hence, there is interest in developing

40 feed attractant mixtures that can replace marine feed ingredients and aquaculture byproducts.

Four years ago, our research teams at Georgia State University and Kona Bay began a collaboration to develop an attractant with no fishmeal and controlled leaching for use in feeds for L. vannamei

Another very important issue in using feed attractant mixtures is rapid leaching and loss of attractants added to feeds when fed in water (Suresh, 2006). Shrimp are slow feeders, and as a result feed pellets may remain submerged underwater for extended periods of time and become less attractive or palatable over time. Shrimp also often break pellets into smaller particles before ingesting them, resulting in further loss of water soluble molecules and decreased palatability. Thus, an effective feed attractant needs a controlled leaching rate to help the feed retain its attractability and palatability over time.

Molecules that serve as feed attractants and palatants for fish and crustaceans have been identified using chemical analysis of natural foods, bioassay-guided fractionation, and behavioral testing, and are known to include free amino acids, amines, nucleosides, nucleotides, peptides, sugars, and other metabolites (Carr et al., 1988). Four years ago, our research teams at Georgia State University and Kona Bay began a collaboration to develop an attractant with no fishmeal and controlled leaching for use in feeds for L. vannamei (Figure 1). As a first step, we developed standardized assays of attractability and palatability to study chemosensory behavior in the laboratory (Derby et al., 2016). Using these assays, we

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Fig. 1. Attractability and palatability assays in our laboratory in Atlanta (left) and growth studies in our aquaculture facilities in Hawaii (right) have supported this research.

developed a cost-effective feed attractant mixture, “FAM,� composed of natural compounds found in the food of shrimp and without any marine meal or other animal products. We also developed a protectant to control the release of the chemostimulant (Blezinger et al., 2015). This protected chemostimulant significantly enhanced the attractability and palatability of food pellets, with shrimp eating significantly more pellets when spiked with a chemostimulant compared to a control diet. We next performed tests to determine the optimal levels of FAM to use. An example set of experiments used pellets with a soy-based feed formulation shown in Table 1. We tested three types of pellets, each similar except for the added stimulus: 1) our protected feeding attractant mixture at 1% inclusion (1% FAM); 2) a positive control (5% krill meal); and 3) a negative control (wheat flour). We tested these pellets in three assays: 1) attractability assay, in which an aqueous extract of the pellets was tested at 1 mg per liter of sea water;

Table 1. Composition of feed pellets in our study. Protected Attractant Premix provides 1% FAM.

Pellet Type Ingredient

1% FAM

5% Krill


Soybean Meal




Wheat Flour




Corn Protein Concentrate




Monocalcium Phosphate




Menhaden Oil








Wheat Gluten




Sodium Alginate




Vitamin-Mineral Premix








Krill Meal




Protected Attractant Premix









Attraction to Stimulus (# grabs at source)




1%FAM 5%Krill Meal Negative Control

1.5 ` b



0.5 0

Amount Consumed (mg of Pellet)



Palatability Palatability b

250 200


150 100 50

0 a



Growth Rate (g per week)

Growth Rate b

1.5 1.0 0.5


2) palatability assay, in which we quantified the mass of pellets eaten in 3 hours; and 3) 8-week growth experiments in Kona Bay’s facility in Hawaii, in which we determined growth rates of shrimp using the three types of pellets. The results are shown in Figure 2. In these high soy diets, 1% FAM is more effective than 5% krill meal or the control in all three assays, thereby showing that it significantly enhances attractability, palatability, and growth of shrimp under our experimental conditions. Furthermore, 1% FAM is of similar or lower cost to marine meals of similar efficacy, including krill meal or squid liver powder. In conclusion, we have developed a highly effective chemostimulant, FAM, without the use of animal products. Furthermore, a protectant added to pellets helps control the release of chemicals to make FAM a longerlasting chemoattractant. FAM motivates shrimp to move toward, grab, and ingest pellets containing it. Furthermore, shrimp that are exclusively fed for 8 weeks high-soy pellets containing FAM grow rapidly. In all of our assays, 1% FAM outperformed 5% krill meal, making it a costeffective alternative to marine meals as feed additives.

References 1%FAM

5%Krill Meal


Fig. 2. Results of our attractability, palatability, and growth studies. ANOVA with LSD posthoc testing was used to analyze each data set. Letters above bars in each study show treatments that are significantly different, Îą=0.05. All three studies show that 1% FAM is more effective than 5% krill meal or control.

Alltech Global Feed Survey. 2017. Blezinger, S., Olbrich, F., Karges, K., Hill, B., Bharadwaj, A., Chamberlain, G. 2015. Reduced dependence on fish

43 meal in shrimp feeds with use of feed concentrate. World Aquaculture Society, South Korea, May 26-30, 2015.

More information

Carr, W.E.S. 1988. The molecular nature of chemical stimuli in the aquatic environment. Pp. 3-28, in J. Atema, R.R. Fay, A.N. Popper, W.N. Tavolga, editors. Sensory Biology of Aquatic Animals. Springer Verlag, NY. Chamberlain, G.W. 2010. History of shrimp farming. In V. Alday-Sanz, editor. The Shrimp Book. Nottingham University Press, UK, pp. 1-38. Derby, C.D., Elsayed, F.H., Williams, S.A., González, C., Choe, M., Bharadwaj, A.S., Chamberlain, G.W. 2016. Krill meal enhances performance of feed pellets through concentration-dependent prolongation of consumption by Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. Aquaculture 458: 13–20. Naylor, R.L., Hardy, R.W., Bureau, D.P., Chiu, A., Elliott, M., Farrell, A.P., Forster, I., Gatlin, D.M., Goldburg, R.J., Hua, K., Nichols, P.D. 2009. Feeding aquaculture in an era of finite resources. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106:1510315110. Rabobank. 2015. The Appeal of Fishmeal. Rabobank Industry Note #494 – June 2015. Suresh, A.V. 2006. Improving nutrient delivery in aqua feeds: implications for nutritionists and formulators. In: Proceedings of Optimize for Profit, An Technical Conference., LLC, pp. 40-47.


Charles Derby

Anant Bharadwaj

George Chamberlain

Dr. Charles Derby, Regents’ Professor of Neuroscience and Biology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia USA. E: Dr. Anant Bharadwaj, Director of Nutrition, Kona Bay, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. E:

Dr. George Chamberlain, Managing Director, Kona Bay, Portsmouth, New Hampshire USA. E:

Kona Bay is a shrimp health, breeding, nutrition, and management company supplying products and services to shrimp hatcheries and farms throughout the world. H.J. Baker & Bro., LLC, is a USA based manufacturer of aquaculture proteins for farms, feedmills, and integrators worldwide. FAM has been licensed to H.J. Baker & Bro., LLC, for manufacture and distribution from the USA under the brand name Aqua-Pak Shrimp, a protein concentrate for shrimp feed. More information about Aqua-Pak: E: Marc Broadbent

Images of shrimp by courtesy of Carolyn Richardson of Georgia State University. For a video of shrimp in the laboratory, see


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