Aquafeed vol 9 issue 3

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VOL 9 ISSUE 3 September/October 2017

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

Evergreen wins F3 Fish-Free Feed Challenge

Fish free feed Aquafeed extrusion Porcine digestible peptides

Feed formulation programs Building a future for African aquaculture A tool for AA recommendations for tilapia


Volume 9, Issue 3


Contents •

Interview with Neil Sims


Documenting aquatic feed mills through the photography of Laurent Bellec


Building a future for African aquaculture


Aquatic feed processing with Twin Screw Extrusion


Flexible Extruded Aqua Feed Production Techniques


Book Review: Food and Feed Extrusion Technology - An applied approach to extrusion theory


A fish meal and fish oil free future for aquaculture


* Evergreen Feed Industry wins F3 Challenge promoting fish-free aquatic feeds


A dynamic tool to derive specific dietary amino acid recommendations for farmed tilapia


Effects of a corn protein concentrate on the performances of red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) cultured in earthen pond


Don’t neglect the optimization


How an integrated formulation and quality control platform adds value to the aquafeed industry


Calendar of Events





*Cover story

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4 Volume 9, Issue 3


Index to advertisers



Aquaculture Without Frontiers (AwF)


Aquafeed Horizons Asia 2018






Famsun (Muyang)


Format Solutions




ILDEX Indonesia 201742




MVC: Cereals - Mixed Feed - Veteri-


Victam Asia 18


World Aquaculture Society: Aqua 18


Wenger Manufacturing


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A marine biologist by training, Neil Anthony Sims is the founding President of the Ocean Stewards Institute – the open ocean aquaculture trade association. He is co-founder and co-CEO of Kampachi Farms, LLC, based in Kona, Hawai’i, and La Paz, Mexico. Over the past two decades, he has led teams that have accomplished breakthroughs in pearl oyster culture, marine fish hatchery technology and open ocean mariculture systems, and has worked extensively on offshore aquaculture legislation and regulation. He is also pioneering the use of plantbased feeds in commercial marine aquaculture.

Interview with Neil Anthony Sims

AQUAFEED.COM Kampachi Farms’ predecessor, Kona Blue Water Farms, pioneered new concepts in U.S. Federal waters, with the Velella Beta test: an untethered, open ocean 'drifter pen'. For the next iteration - the Velella Gamma test - Kampachi Farms deployed and operated an "over-the-horizon aquaculture” unmanned net-pen, 6 miles offshore of Kona, moored in 6,000 ft of water. Are you still employing these technologies and what is happening with

the Velella project now? NAS Kampachi Farms is working towards deployment of two further projects that would – in different ways – apply some of the lessons from the Velella Beta-test and Gamma-test. We are working on an application for a permit for the Velella Epsilon, which we hope to deploy in the Gulf of Mexico. This would be a demonstration project, to help the communities in the Gulf appreciate the potential benefits from offshore

aquaculture – particularly as regards to fishing. In Kona, the local fishing communities loved the Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) effects of the Velella projects, and we want to be able to share this – and to defray many of the other concerns that coastal communities have over offshore aquaculture. We are also looking at applying some of the Velella project advances at a commercial scale in our project under development in La Paz, in Baja California Sur.

6 AQUAFEED.COM Are you committed to just these technologies or are you considering other systems for Kampachi Farms? NAS We are technology-agnostic. We will use the best available technologies that allow us to fulfil our mission of expanding the environmentally-sound production of the ocean’s finest fish. We have used various net pens and mooring systems, manned and unmanned, with a range of mesh materials to address the numerous challenges at offshore sites. We believe that there is not one, singular solution for expansion of offshore aquaculture. The answers will be wide and varied for different species, and different locations.

AQUAFEED.COM Kona Blue Water Farms, in common with many other aquaculture initiatives in the US, met with opposition from activist groups and encountered a less than encouraging regulatory environment. Did this play a large part in your decision to move your production to Mexico? NAS The highly-restrictive regulatory environment in the U.S. is certainly not encouraging of innovative aquaculture. For each of the iterations of the Velella research project, for example, it required an Environmental Assessment process from NOAA which took around two years each time. This was for 2,000 native fish that were already being cultured commercially in state waters! It is difficult to run towards the future when your shoelaces are tied together that tightly. Mexico, by contrast, is highly receptive towards aquaculture innovation and

commercial development. There is still a rigorous review process of new projects, but there is recognition that this is an industry which – in the main – has minimal environmental risk, and offers abundant potential benefits: the supply of sustainable, healthful seafood for consumers; alternative job opportunities for displaced fishermen; and maintaining working waterfronts. Most of the earlier opposition to aquaculture from environmental groups has dissipated, as they have come to the growing realization that, actually, aquaculture can be part of the solution for what ails our seas. Many now recognize that it has to be part of the solution! The real tipping point here was Conservation International’s “Blue Frontiers” study, published in 2012. This underscored the importance of expanding responsible aquaculture, to make farmed fish more widely available to consumers, and reduce water, land, and greenhouse gas impacts from terrestrial livestock. From that point on, all of the science-driven conservation community has been focused on encouraging the right sorts of aquaculture – and open ocean aquaculture is now widely recognized as being minimally impactful.

AQUAFEED.COM Do you see any improvement in the regulations and legislation surrounding aquaculture in the U.S. and what must be done to realize the potential of open ocean aquaculture? NAS Well, yes and no. Back in January, 2016, after almost 10 years of regulatory wrangling, NOAA finalized the Rule for commercial aquaculture permitting in Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Since then, however – to my knowledge – no-one has yet started the permit application process. This is disappointing, but hardly surprising. The Ocean Stewards had repeatedly pushed for changes to the aquaculture permit process, to be more encouraging of responsible industry development, but to no avail. We believe that for offshore aquaculture to succeed in America, we need to see the following changes: 1. NOAA needs to be designated as the lead agency for ocean aquaculture; 2. NOAA should pre-designate specific ocean areas as appropriate for aquaculture, where projects do not significantly conflict with other ocean user-groups; 3. There needs to be an overarching EIS for ocean aquaculture to identify potential significant impacts, and monitoring and mitigatory measures for projects; 4. There needs to be some assurance of a more timely review process for commercial aquaculture projects; and

5. There needs to be a simplified process for review and approval of experimental offshore aquaculture projects. The Ocean Stewards are presenting these recommendations to the Administration’s Regulatory Review Commission, and we hope that others – both inside the industry, and among the broader conservation community – recognize the wisdom of these changes, and support them.

AQUAFEED.COM You are on the Steering Committee for the Seriola-Cobia Aquaculture Dialogue and the Technical

7 Advisory Group for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council: it is fair to say that sustainability is a passion and that feed development for marine species plays a significant role in your approach to fish farming. Would you tell us about the refinements you have been working on with soy-based diets for carnivores, such as kampachi (Seriola rivoliana)? NAS How could one not be passionate about the opportunities that offshore aquaculture presents for softening our footprint on the seas? We can grow great -tasting seafood that is better for consumers, better for the oceans, and better for the planet, and we can build profitable businesses that provide jobs, and put innovative ideas to work. What a great space to be working in! Feed formulations are one of the many areas where we as a company – and we collectively, as an industry – are working hard to meet the dual goals of better business-wise, and better ocean-wise. With support from the Nebraska Soybean Board and University of Lincoln Nebraska, we have developed kampachi diets with 40% soy protein concentrate (SPC – essentially tofu), which allows us to reduce the fishmeal inclusion level down to 12%. At the research-scale, this diet has performed as well as fishmeal-based commercial diets; our challenge is now to validate the growth performance and product quality of the kampachi on this diet when the feed is produced in larger quantities by commercial feed mills. That’s the task ahead of us for this coming year! Rick Barrows has also developed a zero fishmeal diet for our kampachi that contained no marine proteins whatso

ever, yet which still performed comparably to commercial controls. That formulation is not yet commercially practical, but it shows the potential for further advances. So we no longer have to feed fish to grow fish, any more than you need to feed small birds to your cat.

“… promising new feedstuffs can languish between the research scale and the commercial uptake …

AQUAFEED.COM What sort of challenges are you seeing in transitioning fish feed research results to commercial use? NAS What we often see in development of new feedstuffs is a “Commercialization Chasm” (that’s our term for it), where promising new feedstuffs can languish between the research scale and the commercial uptake. Most of this is due to a desire to first see validation of a diet at the proper scale. Commercial fish farms are understandably unwilling to use diets that have not been fully vetted: any mistakes there could sink an operation. And fish feed companies have little incentive to use new feedstuffs if farms don’t push for these changes; there are risks around pricing, scalability, reliability of the supply and consistent quality, and there is little obvious, early up-side. However, this is changing. The U.S. soybean industry recognizes these challenges. The Nebraska Soybean Board is supporting our efforts to transition our 40% SPC diet to commercial scale. Feed companies like Cargill and BioMar are establishing partnerships with new feedstuff suppliers like Calysta and Terravia. And initiatives like the F3 FishFree Feed Challenge help to raise awareness of the importance of the issue, and the commercial opportunities that are available.

Commercial fish farms are understandably unwilling to use diets that have not been fully vetted: any mistakes there could sink an operation.”

AQUAFEED.COM What sort of progress is being made in selective breeding to expand the rate of adoption of alternative feed ingredients? NAS Some early work by Troutlodge demonstrated that there is a strong genetic component to the propensity for Rainbow Trout to thrive on diets based on vegetable proteins. We have pursued similar work with kampachi, and found the same. In our most recent trials, the average weight gain of fish on a high soy diet was slightly less than that of fish on a control fishmeal diet. Yet the soy-fed fish showed around twice the variation in growth. Some of the individual soy-fed fish actually out-performed the best of those on the fish-meal diet! So, our understanding of what this means is that if you are mal-adapted to soy-based diets, you do very poorly. But if you have the right physiological adaptation, you can do extraordinarily well! We have identified a couple of SNP markers that together explain about 50%

8 of the growth variation in the soy-fed fish. Our next steps are to validate these markers, and to then start selecting for those adaptations. If we can select for these traits, then we could be culturing fish on soy diets that are not just comparable to fish on standard diets, but which rather show better growth rates and lower FCRs than on fishmeal-based diets. That’s the ultimate – a more sustainable, scalable diet that results in better performing fish!

AQUAFEED.COM How important is it to find alternative feeds for tunas, groupers and yellowtails? NAS Alternative feeds are key to the responsible scale-up of these species. There is great market demand for these high-value fish, but currently, they are mostly being fed with wild-sourced fish: either forage fish, trash fish or moist pellets. Part of the challenge, up to now, has been that tunas, groupers and yellowtails such as hamachi were all ‘ranched’ i.e. dependent on wild-caught fingerlings, or larger juveniles captured for fattening. These wild fish are very difficult to wean onto pellet diets. But two recent developments now offer opportunity to overcome this: Firstly, hatchery production techniques are now in hand for most of these species, meaning that they can initially be weaned in the hatchery from Artemia directly onto compound diets. Secondly, there have been tremendous advances in formulation of softer feeds, rather than the hard, extruded pellets. We have been working with Rick Barrows’ socalled “Eco-Sardine”, with very encouraging results with Yellowfin Tuna, Giant Grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) and

kampachi. This is a soft, squishy feed – more like fruit leather than a normal pellet. The Illinois Soybean Association has also independently developed a soft pellet diet that has tested very well with Bluefin Tuna.

AQUAFEED.COM Your company has been working on diets for herbivorous fish, such as Kyphosids. What are the underlying drivers behind this work, and what progress can you report? NAS Modern fish farming is becoming very capital-intensive. From a development perspective, that is unfortunate, as it excludes many coastal communities – particularly in less-developed countries (LDCs) – from actively sharing in the benefits of industry growth. But the biggest cost for marine fish farms is not the equipment – it’s the feed. For a wellmanaged farm, feed represents over 60% of the cost of production. At the same time, one of the primary challenges for expanded culture of seaweeds in LDCs is that the market is remote, and shipping costs are high, for a very low-value product. Most of the labor involved in seaweed production is for drying the product, to reduce these shipping costs. However, if we can develop culture methods for highly-esteemed herbivorous fish, such as kyphosids (rudderfish, or chubs), or rabbitfish, then a large part of the feed could be supplied from within the community, by local seaweed farmers. This means that more of the feed costs are spent in-country; the overall feed costs would be lower; and the fish farm could be supporting broader community employment by boosting the demand for seaweed locally.

“Part of the challenge, up to now, has been that tunas, groupers and yellowtails such as hamachi were all ‘ranched’ i.e. dependent on wild-caught fingerlings, or larger juveniles captured for fattening. These wild fish are very difficult to wean onto pellet diets.”

We have raised kyphosids in the hatchery previously, using wild-collected eggs. The challenges we currently face are identifying the most nutritious seaweed species, and obtaining reliable spawns from captive broodstock. We persevere.

AQUAFEED.COM Finally, what is the one thing you'd like to see happen in aquaculture in the next 15 years? NAS It is my fervent hope to see American chefs and consumers embracing responsibly farmed seafood, preferentially over wild caught. I want to see people choosing to eat seafood because they know that it is better for them, and better for the planet, and choosing farmed seafood over wild because they understand that it is the only way that we can sustainably scale production: because it’s the right thing to do. AFΩ


DOCUMENTING AQUATIC FEED MILLS Through the photography of Laurent Bellec The distinctive architecture of aquaculture feed mills will be captured in a new artistic book, thanks to a partnership between and renown feedmill photographer, Laurent Bellec. The book will be a collection of the diverse, and sometimes beautiful aquafeed mill structures to be found

Be part of the project! Feature YOUR mill in this important record. To learn more, contact Laurent Bellec at:

around the world.

Laurent Bellec has published two collections of European feedmills, which were created in association with FEFAC, the federation of European feed manufacturers and with the support of several industry sponsors. His photographs are shown at feed industry trade shows as art books. This new collection will follow the theme of Bellec's previous photographic and editorial work: enhancing contemporary industrial aesthetic design.

The aim is to launch the project of a first edition at the next VICTAM ASIA in Bangkok in March 2018. Laurent Bellec is currently accepting sponsors and partners, who will be offered various special benefits.


Building a future for African aquaculture By Roy Kazen, Ottevanger Milling Engineers. According to the latest United Nations report of World Populations Prospects (Revision 2017 ) the African population will have doubled by 2050. At this moment, there are approximately 48 million people living in Kenya and it is expected this will grow to 95 million by 2050. A massive growth of population also

means that twice as many people need to be fed. Doubling the food chain in Kenya is a very challenging goal. Especially when we dive into the Aquaculture chain and the production of consumable fish. South-East of Kenya’s borders is the Indian Ocean whilst on the west side is Victoria Lake. With capture fisheries

sharply declining, both provide less and less fish, while more is needed.

Until very recently, there was no structured aquaculture chain in Kenya. A problem that not only occurs in Kenya but also applies to other African countries. The continent of Africa is responsible for just 2.5% of worldwide aquaculture output . Most of this output

11 is concentrated in two countries, Nigeria and Egypt. In 2011, during a working visit to Kenya, Wouter van Vliet (Director of Larive International) noticed that there was hardly any fresh fish available on the local market, while demand seemed to be rampant. Coming back to the Netherlands, Wouter spoke with experts from the aquaculture value chain to see what was needed to build a viable sector. This marked the start of the establishment of FoodTechAfrica in 2013.

and water;


(3) poor farm management;

By combining the expertise of Pelleting Technology Netherlands, Almex, Skretting and Unga, Ottevanger Milling Engineers built a state-of-the art fish feed facility, producing high-quality feeds in the heart of East Africa, Kenya.

(4) poor animal health management; (5) lack of an functioning value chain (including inputs, production, processing, cold storage and distribution); (6) lack of local finance, costly debt funding, high transaction costs and commercial risks; (7) a challenging business environment for farmers.

On the 16th of March 2017, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries Mr. Willy. K Bett alongside Dutch Ambassador Mr. Frans Makken officially opened the new plant.

“Demand for fish in Africa is going to go up, whilst wild-catch is FoodTechAfrica FoodTechAfrica is a Dutch public-private partnership combining the strength and expertise of 13 partners, all active in the Aquaculture value chain. The objective of FoodTechAfrica is to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of a fully integrated aquaculture value chain in East Africa by combining the strengths of Dutch agrofood companies (mainly SMEs), knowledge institutions, government and their East-African counterparts. Developing a value chain to improve agricultural productivity and local market efficiency is the most effective way to boost local economic growth while substantially contributing to poverty reduction. This will lead to less dependence and contribute to increased selfreliance.

At the start of this project, the sector faced several major challenges: (1) lack of economies of scale and the absence of critical mass; (2) insufficient access to high-quality inputs, including fingerlings, aqua-feeds

declining. This leaves fish farming or importing fish as the two main options to provide fish to the growing consumer base. Africa is under

the spotlight when it comes to global food security. And food security is best achieved by sustainable local production, for the local market. Thus, it is important to look inland, towards sustainably farming freshwater fish. - Wouter van Vliet, Director Larive International Aquatic feed plant Without a local fish feed producer, it is both risky and expensive for local fish farmers to produce fish. This is due to the fact that roughly 70% of the operational costs are fish feeds. And if these fish feeds need to be imported, the risks are multiplied (i.e. non-delivery of imported feeds means loss of the entire fish stock). A local feed producer of high quality fish feed thus enables fish farmers to increase the output and lower their production costs per kg. In short, a local fish feed manufacturing facility is an essential cornerstone of the sector. Establishing a local fish feed facility became the first key objective of

The plant has the capacity to produce 5,000 tons of high-quality extruded floating fish feed annually for the East African market. It is the first facility of this size in East Africa that will produce the much needed high-quality floating fish feeds, the single most important impediment to the growth of the aquaculture sector in the region.

Making the most of what’s available The complete factory was designed by Ottevanger Milling Engineers. The equipment was installed in an unused maize mill building, which was fully refurbished to meet the modern design criteria. This way, the consortium made


“In line with our Vision of “Nutrition for Life”, Unga has taken a bold step – investing, with the support of funding from the Dutch Government – in a stateof-the-art fish feed production facility to serve an aquaculture industry still in its infancy. Locally produced fish feed is a critical and essential building block to enabling the aquaculture sector to grow. It is the first facility of such size and

technical capability in East Africa and also worth noting that it has been designed with the flexibility to double capacity within a very short timeframe.” — Ms. Isabella Ochola Wilson, Unga Holdings Limited Board Chair. the most of what was already available. By using an existing construction, both time and money were saved, whilst existing infrastructure was given a second life. The plant is equipped with a hammer mill, single shaft ribbon mixer, continuous flow conditioner, crumbler, extruder, vertical drier, cooler and a pellet coating system. The plant is fully automated by Inteqnion.

Floating Pellets The floating pellets come in a four-partoffering, providing nutrition throughout the lifecycle of the Tilapia. Formulations are provided by global aquafeed producer, Skretting, and utilize the latest research on feed formulation. The extruded pellets will be manufactured and sized to offer the best in nutritional value. The feed is easy to consume and provide key nutrients for growth, proper immune support and overall health of the fish. In time, the plant will also produce a range of pellets targeted at the smaller catfish market.

The new plant can produce 5,000 tons extruded fish feed a year.

Fish Farming The second pillar of the FoodTechAfrica project is Fish Farming. The consortium started with an extensive analyses of the local conditions in Kenya, with the goal of assessing the optimal fish production method. This included among others review of temperatures, water availability, land scarcity and distance to the final consumers.

Based on the extensive analyses, FoodTechAfrica developed a recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), specifically for application in East Africa. This system operates by filtering water from the fish tanks, so it can be reused. This dramatically reduces the amount of water and space required to intensively produce fish and fits very well in an environment, where water and land are both scarce, and will be even more scarce in the


"FoodTechAfrica offers a whole goodie bag of expertise, with one hand supporting the other. Things are coming together very nicely". — Tony Ndetto, Farm owner Kamuthanga.

Wouter van Vliet, Director Larive International and Tony Ndetto, Farm owner Kamuthanga.

future. The steps in RAS include solids removal, ammonia removal, Co2 removal and oxygenation. Also, the system simulates a stress-free environment for the fish, reducing mortalities and

improving the feed conversion, growth rates and quality. The result is a system providing 100 times the output compared to a fish pond of the same surface.

The new technique was then applied in practice, by constructing the first RASbased fish farm, together with the local partner Kamuthanga. The farm is yielding spectacular results in terms of output, with a business case providing a solid income to local fish farmers. The farm showcases the potential of commercial fish farming on land. At the farm, selected farmers are trained to become professional fish farmers. This way, the


About Unga Unga Farm Care (EA) Limited is the region’s leading manufacturer and marketer of a broad portfolio of quality Animal Nutrition and Health products.

With this plant, the factory owner, Unga Farm Care Ltd., will set a new direction in the development of the production of high-quality fish feed in Eastern Africa.

About Ottevanger Ottevanger Milling Engineers is a leading global supplier of production equipment and processing lines for the grain processing and compound feed industry. The company was responsible for the engineering, project management, manufacturing and installation of the complete process equipment.

About Viqon Viqon Water Solutions offers advisory services in sustainable aquaculture and water treatment. Viqon’s intensive cooperation with farmers resulted in a unique sustainable aquaculture concept. Integrating a proven denitrification technique enables the farmers to produce fish with minimum water use and environmental impact.

farm acts as an aquahub, where expertise, inputs for farmers and fish production all come together. The first major steps have been set. In a short period of time, FoodTechAfrica has created a feed production facility, the largest land-based fish farm, expertise and training essential for the growth of the sector and direct jobs. Given the ambition level of the project partners, this is just the beginning.

More information

In the coming years, FoodTechAfrica will continue building the aquaculture value chain by replicating the successful model of the aquahub, both within Kenya and regionally, including Rwanda and Tanzania. FoodTechAfrica’s success of working as a consortium covering all expertise needed to build the value chain, proves the worth of an African proverb about the value of team work: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Roy Kazen is an experienced graduate engineer and represents Ottevanger Milling Engineers on the African continent. Contact him for more specific information about Unga or further questions about Ottevanger's solutions, E:





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Aquatic feed processing with

twin screw extrusion By Alain Brisset, Food scientist & animal feed specialist, Clextral.

The challenges of an essential expanding market The most recent study from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO- 2016 (1)] confirms that 50% of the consumed aquatic animals in the world (including finfish, mollusks & crustaceans) come from aquaculture. With a world population of 7,3 billion people, the average fish consumption (including mollusks and crustaceans) was estimated in 2014 to be 20,1 kg/capita. Obviously, the process of feed manufacturing for finfish and shrimp represents a key issue for insuring the delivery of consistently high quality granulates for these intensive breeding processes; for example, it is estimated that over 60% of the production expenses for farmed salmon comes from the feed cost. Additionally, we have to face challenges such as limited resources of fish flour and fish oils worldwide and a temperature increase of the earth’s environment creating irregular conditions for fish capture, uncertain cereal and pulse harvests on earth (used more & more to partially replace fish meal in recipes), and the risks to delicate offshore aquaculture breeding facilities (waves, winds, storms, currents, pollution...).

materials. These are due to various sources of raw materials (for example, soy flour can be purchased in many parts of the world), transport and storage conditions, grinding process, …

The potential of twin screw extrusion Fish is known as a high value food for humans, with health benefits that include long chain unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins & minerals and a wellbalanced protein supply. In 2013, 3,1 billion people received 20% of their animal protein from fish origin. Therefore, fish feed processing technology plays a particularly important role to this industry. It requires: •

Easy adaptation to any change in raw-material composition: moisture content, lipid content, particle size distribution, de-mixing of powdered

Flexibility to adjust the sinking/ floating properties of the granulates to follow as closely as possible the food habits of each animal family,

Processing a wide range of recipes to respond to industry demand for foods with low or high amounts of lipids, vegetable proteins, or various sources of protein to meet the specific nutritional fish requests and adapt to rapid environmental

17 fluctuations, •

industry (2), which offered much greater flexibility than single screw machines due to its intensive mixing ability with precise shear and temperature control. [“Extrusion Processing Technology”(3)]

Flexibility to adjust the shear, cooking and shaping conditions in the extruder and apply precise drying and coating parameters during the entire production process, Insuring a high hygienic standard, to avoid any contamination during the feed manufacturing process.

Taking these considerations into account, combined with good manufacturing/ breeding practices, scientific education and adapted legislation, we can nurture high quality aquatic animals that offer health benefits to people around the world–using local production to ensure low carbon footprints and maintain reasonable sales prices.

Technology of co-rotating twin screw extruder Single screw extrusion technology has offered a simplified method of continuous cooking of doughs under controlled processing conditions for many decades. 60 years ago, some pioneers developed an alternative process: co-rotating twinscrew technology applied to the food

With the evolution of electronic PLCs, mechanical features, gauges, drives, metallurgy, together with heavy R&D investment, these pioneers offered the fish feed industry more sophisticated systems, allowing the industry to move quickly into new areas–such as recipes with high amounts of fat and vegetable protein (4, 5) To illustrate this trend, S. Kaushik, world expert in aquaculture, recently presented the Opportunities and Challenges of the Global Aquaculture (6) CLEXTRAL (7), a major player in Twin Screw Technology for Food & Feed applications has launched innovations which offer even greater possibilities to the fish farming industry to process original recipes and use raw materials such as new pulses, proteins, insects, krill meals and possibly processed animal proteins, seaweeds, etc.

variations. For example, the Advanced Thermal Control (ATC) is a self-learning, proprietary software solution that ensures absolute precision in temperature control of the barrel assembly of the Evolum+ extruder. ATC continuously monitors production parameters to ensure process and product consistency. ATC is proven to enhance process stability up to 70%, with energy savings averaging 20% by eliminating repeated heating/cooling cycles to maintain process temperature set-points in all circumstances. Combined with automatic start up and shut down procedures, this system represents a powerful tool to enhance the productivity of the extrusion line.

One of these innovations relates to Intelligence of the machine and the ability of the auto-adaptive extruder to adjust to potential raw material

Come—join us in Bangkok! March 27, 2018. BITEC. Bangkok.

11th Aquafeed Horizons Conference The international technical conference

18 Preconditioning: higher efficiency and improved product texture Another innovation refers to the preconditioning process, a key operation in fish is feed manufacturing. Preconditioning allows moistening of the powdered mix and pre-gelatinization of the starch molecules through the addition of water and steam; thereby increasing the pellets’ water stability, enhancing production capacity and reducing wear on the extruder. This patented, innovative Preconditioner+ improves heat and mass transfer to the product due to the Advanced Filling Control device (AFC); it interacts directly with the material inside the mixing chamber and enables the filling ratio to be adjusted. The AFC system uses an exclusive conveying screw inside the tank and adjusts the

flow by a partial and controlled recycling of the material being processed from the outlet to the entry point, thus intensifying the specific preconditioning functions.

Laboratory tests have proven that the final hardness of fish feed pellets increased between 7% and 29% using the

same recipe and modifying the preconditioning and extrusion parameters versus adjusting the bottom-screw speed. During the cleaning procedure, the bottom-screw rotation is reversed to facilitate the cleaning procedure of the preconditioning chamber.




Finally, today much attention is focused on hygienic extruder design as food security is a key parameter for the fish feed and food industries.

2. CLEXTRAL 60th anniversary, internal Publication – “60 Years on”, October 2016

Fish feed manufacturers want to be able to clean their extruder from the outside using hot water and sometimes with cleaning agents. The stainless steel, hygienic Evolum+ frame structure is designed to avoid water stagnation and all the extruder areas are easily accessible. The internal processing assembly of the twin-screw extruder must be cleaned easily as well: the complete quick barrel extraction device is today a paradigm to the industry. It offers access to the screws and barrels in only few minutes and is a state-of-the-art solution that simplifies preventive maintenance, wear monitoring and cleaning processes.

3. J.M.Bouvier, O.Campanella, in “Extrusion Processing Technology” P 189207 WILEY, 2014 4. Program: Advanced Research Initiatives for Nutrition and Aquaculture, ARRAINA- Jan 2012-Dec 2016, Direction S.Kaushik; pres J.Dias, Sparos/Portugal, 2014. 5. C. Burel, F. Medale “Quid de l’utilisation des protéines d’origine végétale en Aquaculture?” OCL 2014, 21 (4) D406 , published by EDP Sciences 2014. 6. S. Kaushik, INRA: “Global Aquaculture, Opportunities and Challenges” – presentation at the CLEXTRAL Innovation Summit, October 2016, France.

More information

Alain Brisset, Food scientist & Animal feed specialist, Clextral, France.


References 1. FAO State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2016-

“Laboratory tests have proven that the final hardness of fish feed pellets increased between 7% and 29% using the same recipe and modifying the preconditioning and extrusion parameters versus adjusting the bottom-screw speed.”



Flexible extruded aquafeed production techniques By Ramesh Gangatharan and Joe Kearns, Wenger Manufacturing, Inc., Sabetha, KS, USA

Aquaculture encompasses the farming of a wide range of aquatic species such as fish, crustaceans, mollusks, aquatic plants, algae and various other aquatic organisms. This is unlike terrestrial animal farming, which is restricted to a few species of birds and mammals. Hence, the farming of aquatic organisms is more complex due to the diverse species as well as the unique farming practices that need to be adopted to successfully farm them. Feed plays an important role in the production process, as it contributes to over 60% of the production cost. Hence, producing the right type and size of feed for the specific farmed species becomes all the more important.

AquaFlex-XT with HIP Conditioning cylinder shown with 1 extrusion die

Modern extrusion processing demands the production of feeds of different pellet sizes (diameter & length), bulk density (floating/ slow sinking/ sinking), pellet durability and water stability. To achieve this, it is essential to have the right equipment in place. To this end, Wenger’s High Intensity Preconditioner (HIP) is the company’s best and most current design of preconditioner. Above the conditioner are two bins: a surge bin that feeds a live bin. This is for gravimetric control of the dry feed flow into the HIP, as gravimetric or loss in weight of the dry feed sets the major controlling factor. The rest of the computer system utilizes this information to determine % of the dry flow rate. For

example, the % of steam and water added in the conditioner and extruder barrel are determined by the dry flow rate. The computer system is much better than humans at controlling liquid inputs, which can include multiple streams in this system. Additional advancements include the Steam-Water Mixing Injection System (SMI) – a single point injection of steam and water into the HIP. The dust-tight down spout of the HIP, along with the slide gate and vent control, result in better energy efficiency as well as a cleaner work environment. Optionally, the slurry injection system & the oil injection system can be attached to the HIP and controlled via the APM


Customers are able to select the product size and characteristics

(Automated Process Management system). The slurry injection system meters in the addition of terrestrial land animal waste (slaughter house waste) or aquatic processing plant waste and valuable amino acid sources; these can be pumped directly into the HIP as a protein source, which also creates good feed attractability. The oil injection system is used for the addition of oil (fish oil / vegetable oil) directly into the HIP and/or the extruder. This also doubles as the shut down oil system (SOS–oil system), pumping oil into the extruder barrel at the time of shut-down in order to lubricate the feed mash and significantly reduce the cleaning time of dies and the BPV (Back Pressure Valve), especially on die holes smaller than 1.5 mm. Another machine, the AquaFlex-XT, is the latest model of Twin Screw Extruder with a 21.8:1 L/D with special screw configuration. This is an extruder of choice for small diameter floating as well as sinking feeds. This is a Co-Rotating Twin Screw extruder, with BPV (Back Pressure Value) to control the cook and the bulk density so that floating, sinking, and slow-sinking feed can all be made on the same machine without changing the screw profile. It comes with a special high capacity dual die system to be used for

producing sinking shrimp feeds at high capacities. It can be configured for two capacity ranges up to 5MT/hr with a 300 Hp (225Kw) main motor and VFD or with a max of 12MT/hr with a 600 Hp (450Kw) main motor and VFD. Products at or above 0.5mm in diameter can be produced with the customer’s desired floatation characteristics.

Cutting system and hood

contact between the machine and the floor. The negative airlift system keeps the feed in a lively constant moving path to convey the feed to the dryer inlet / spout spreader while skinning it over for free-flowing feed out of the dryer. The Airflow II Dryer can be sized as per the extrusion capacity. It has been greatly improved over the years and now has a +/- 0.5% moisture variance at the discharge of the dryer. The idea is to do everything in the dryer evenly, including proper spreading, uniform bed depth and accurate temperature controls to ensure that the moisture level across the bed and top to bottom is all within 0.5% moisture variance. This helps to get the right moisture in the final product, resulting in a better-quality product and improved profitability. The Source Technology Wet Bulk Density & Moisture Measuring system helps to constantly monitor and automatically control these parameters to ensure that production is within the specs required. For example, the system can determine if

The advanced cutting system and pneumatic hood design assist in making the best-looking product, and also ensure the product goes to the dryer without delay or hang ups from the gravity system. Paying attention to the knife set up results in better-looking products and less fines, which equates to less repeat work and more actual production. The AquaFlex-XT comes with a flexi cable shaft, which easily connects the knife motor and the cutter assembly and at the same time cleans the AquaFlex-XT Dual Die, Flexible Knife Drive Shafts and Pneumatic Hood area and reduces Arrangement

22 the density is off from the defined setpoint and automatically adjust the screw speed in the extruder or modulate the back-pressure valve (optional) to get the desired density. The APM (Automated Process Management) computer system is the brain behind the AquaFlex-XT extrusion operation system. This system stores up to 10,000 formulas and their specific operating conditions. Data can also be

saved on running conditions for each product to ensure the system makes a consistent product during the life of the parts. When changing to new parts, the system returns to the 1st set of running conditions and starts over. The goal is achieved: the process is controlled over the life of the extruder components with a significant reduction in off spec products and unnecessary down time. AFâ„Ś

More information

Table 1. Capacity Chart Approximate (depends on formula and exact product specs)

Die Hole Size

Sinking One Die Floating One Die Sinking Dual Die Kg/hr Kg/hr Kg/hr

Floating Dual Die Kg/hr

0.5 - .08


1,000 - 1,500



0.8 - 1.1


3,200 - 4,000



1.2 - 1.3


Up to 5,500



Ramesh Gangatharan Wenger Manufacturing

1.4 - 1.5


Up to 8,500




10 to 12,000

4 - 5,000

8 - 10,000

1.6 and up 4,000



FOOD AND FEED EXTRUSION TECHNOLOGY An applied approach to extrusion theory This comprehensive and masterful and relationships relating to strain analysis and a method for book by Dennis Forte and Gordon estimating WATS; Young draws on decades working in Single Screw vs, twin screw extruders—key engineering criteria industry and 20 years of experience to consider such as output prediction and velocity profiles; conducting extrusion technology An Engineering Analysis of Extruder Venting; short courses. It aims to deliver a Manufacture of Direct Expanded Snack Foods balance between the science and Modelling the Degree of Cook in Snack Foods theory behind extrusion and Design/Scale Up Calculations. practical application. It is, as the AFΩ authors explain in the introduction, More Information not a simple “how to” guide, but an explanation of how and why Hardcover: 332 pages process parameters affect the final product. While at first Publisher: Food Industry Engineering (March 31, 2016) glance it seems a little daunting, replete as it is with equations, ISBN-10: 0994543301 ISBN-13: 978-0994543301 closer reading reveals a thorough and understandable exposition of the complex and dynamic processes involved in Dennis Forte is a chemical engineer by training, who has spent extrusion technology and how to manage them. It is an his career in extrusion and related processes in areas of human invaluable reference for extruder operators working in a food, pet foods (dry, semi-moisture, wet texturised) and commercial feed or food plant. aquafeeds. He has worked in these areas with both multinationThe book starts with basic concepts, covering extrusion systems al corporations and small manufacturers. Gordon Young entered and parts, rheology, die design, the role and characteristics of the field of extrusion through research and teaching at the pre-conditioners and the behavior and impact of raw materials University of Queensland in Australia, gaining practical experiin the process and final product. ence through industry project work and training. Section 2 is devoted to technology and applications: coextrusion, texturization of snacks, cereals and protein in TVP and high moisture protein cooking and energy inputs. Chapters cover the cause and effect of some problem areas operators encounter such as irregular feed composition, ingredient feed rate, conveying and mixing, screw speed, die pressure and heating and cooling fluctuations. The dynamics of product expansion during extrusion are covered in detail, with further chapters covering product quality Dennis Forte Gordon Young assurance, scale-up and process transfer, effects of wear on extruder performance and wear maintenance, and trouble Foodstream courses: shooting. Gordon Young, Food Industry Engineering, Australia Chapters in the final section cover: Weighted Average Total Strain (WATS) — underlying concepts E:


A fish meal and fish oil free future for aquaculture By John Sweetman, International Project Manager, Alltech.

In an age of hyper-connectivity driven by the internet, cell phones and social media, it has never been easier for consumers to make an informed choice about the seafood

products they buy. Whether a product features the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s “responsibly farmed” label or the Marine Stewardship Council’s blue tick logos on supermarket fish products, or whether products are listed in the consumer guides from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program or the World Wide Fund for Nature’s

The development of certification standards for aquaculture and aquafeeds has placed additional emphasis on the importance of sourcing responsibly produced feed ingredients. These components have to meet the nutritional requirements of the fish species being produced while at the same time be economically and environmentally sustainable. While the global raw material supply for fish meal and fish oil production comes mainly from well-managed fisheries and their by-products, it is recognised that there are some environmental and social challenges with the sourcing of raw material in certain areas of the world. The growing demand on aquaculture therefore requires a continuous search for new raw materials and the better use of limited resources.

aquaculture sector have a

Significant research has taken place into the nutritional benefits and challenges of using plant proteins and oils as a replacement for fish meal and fish oil. As a result, progress has been made in promoting and adopting the use of alternative plant proteins and oils to replace limited marine resources, thereby increasing the economic and environmental sustainability of aquaculture feeds.

responsibility to play a role.

This shift has increased the complexity of

online seafood guides, the consumer demands reassurance of the ethical production, traceability and sustainability of the seafood they buy. These pressures influence the supply chain, and all participants in the

feed formulation, with more functional ingredients and additives being utilized to satisfy the nutrient requirement of the species being cultured in order to provide balanced nutrition to promote health, growth and performance. While increasing sustainability, the simultaneous replacement of fish meal with plant protein and the reduction in fish oil use via vegetable oil substitution in commercial fish feeds impacts the fatty acid composition of the seafood product. The lipid fatty acid content of commercial fish feeds is variable and depends on the dietary levels of fish oil and the type of plant oil sources used (e.g., soya oil, rapeseed oil, linseed oil). The decreasing levels of marine longchain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA), especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), can affect the physiological processes of the fish, affecting nutrient digestibility, lipogenesis, lipid deposition storage and transport of lipoproteins, and fatty acid uptake and metabolism in tissues. This is of concern to producers and consumers, as oily marine fish are an excellent source of high-quality protein and a rich source of health-enhancing long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart, brain, eyesight and

26 many other conditions. Indeed, DHA is a key component of the brain, retina and heart and is reported to have antiinflammatory properties. In order to maintain the health benefits of salmon, the Norwegian Seafood Federation stated that the minimum EPA and DHA present in salmonid diets should be no lower than 4 percent of the total dietary oils. Lipid metabolism in fish, while regulated by dietary fatty acids, is also dependent on organic minerals that facilitate the catalytic and enzyme activity involved in the metabolism of LC-PUFA’s. Sufficient intake of available minerals is therefore important in maintaining good lipid

metabolism and protecting the fish against lipid oxidation and the resulting products of oxidation. Fish meal contains naturally occurring minerals in organic form; however, in most commercial salmon diets, where fish meal levels are low, inorganic mineral supplements are used to cover the requirement of the fish and counteract the mineral-binding effect of phytate present in the dietary raw materials. However, when organic mineral supplements (e.g., Alltech’s Bioplex® minerals) are used, their higher bioavailability can improve fatty acid digestibility, protect the PUFAs in the diet from oxidative stress and increases the

DHA incorporation levels in the fillet tissue of fish. In addition, the incorporation of organic minerals has been found to cause up to a six-fold decrease in gaping in salmon fillets. As increasing amounts of plant-based alternatives to fish meal and fish oil are added to aquaculture diet formulations, the importance of a healthy gut and intestinal microflora also increases. These microbes assist the fish in degrading the indigestible polysaccharides that may be present in plant-based dietary raw materials. They are also important in the synthesis of vitamins, minerals and other bioactive components, such as short-chain fatty acids like

Neo Green feed is completely free of fish meal and fish oil, which has been replaced by ForPlus®, Alltech’s groundbreaking microalgae-based alternative to fish oil.

27 butyrate that protect the gut epithelium and provide an additional energy source for the fish. A healthy microbiome can be promoted by the nutritional modification of the bacterial species in the intestinal tract. The inclusion of Alltech’s solutions, such as Bio-Mos® and Actigen®, have the ability to improve the integrity of intestinal villi in aqua species, enhancing nutrient absorption, digestibility and growth performance. Over the last three years, Alltech and Coppens International have been developing a revolutionary Neo Green feed concept. The first Neo Green product is a high-quality trout diet that is completely free of both fish meal and fish oil, giving a fish-in-fish-out ratio of zero. In Neo Green, fish oil has been replaced by ForPlus®, Alltech’s groundbreaking microalgae-based alternative to fish oil. This DHA-rich microalgae is fully traceable and is a sustainable source of essential n-3 fatty acids. Alltech’s organic mineral premix and gut health components are added to Neo Green, and the diet is formulated in line with the withdrawal of ethoxyquin regulation EU 2017/962. Trials have been carried out to analyze the growth performance of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fed Neo Green containing soya and other plant protein concentrates. These results were compared to another high-energy trout diet containing fish meal and fish oil supplemented with ForPlus. The Neo Green diet showed good growth and feed conversion rates, which were comparable to a fish meal/fish oilequivalent diet, with similar results

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fed Neo Green, a new feed completely free of fishmeal and fish oil, showed good growth and feed conversion rates.

obtained from the various plant protein concentrates. The energy retention, condition factor and hepatosomatic index were similar between all diets. The gutted weight and the fillet percentage was equal to that of a fish meal/fish oilbased diet, and no difference was detected in the taste of the trout fed the Neo Green and the fish meal/fish oil diet. The development and use of the fish meal/fish oil-free Neo Green feed concept has shown that it is possible to grow trout in a completely sustainable manner without compromising growth, performance or product quality. The Alltech and Coppens International innovation program is also working to expand the fish meal/fish oil-free range of diets to incorporate other key fish species such as catfish and carp.

More information John Sweetman, International Project Manager, Alltech




The joined meeting of the European Aquaculture Society and World Aquaculture Society organized by

We are the producers, the investors, the suppliers, the processors, the vendors, the scientists, the educators, the students and the consumers of farmed aquatic products. gold sponsor

was premier sponsors

For More Information Contact: Conference Manager P.O. Box 2302 | Valley Center, CA 92082 USA Tel: +1.760.751.5005 | Fax: +1.760.751.5003 Email: | | For TRADE SHOW information contact:


Evergreen Feed Industry wins F3 Challenge promoting fish-free aquatic feeds By Meredith Brooks, Staff Editor,

One of the major challenges -and opportunities -- facing the aquaculture industry today is the sustainable production of aquatic feeds. More than just a buzzword, sustainability has become an important component to aquaculture development across the globe, with major aquatic feed and supplement companies producing comprehensive annual reports to demonstrate the responsibility of their supply chain. In an effort to promote further innovation in seafoodfree and seafood-reduced aquaculture feeds, organizers launched the F3 (Fish-Free Feed) Challenge in May 2016. The Challenge has now come to a close, and Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co., Ltd has been named the winner.

F3 Challenge team presents award check to Guangdong Evergreen Feed Co.

“We are pleased to award Evergreen Feed Industry the F3 prize to acknowledge its hard work and dedication to the widespread adoption of fishfree feed,” said University of Arizona Professor Kevin Fitzsimmons, a judge of the challenge and former president of the World Aquaculture Society. “Thanks to the great effort and commitment made by all the contestants, I’ve seen more progress made over the past 18 months to advance fishmeal alternatives than over the last five years.”

Dr. Fitzimmons presented the $200,100 grand prize to Evergreen on October 4, 2017 at the GOAL conference in Ireland. The goal of the pioneering Challenge was to reduce the demand of wild-caught stocks by accelerating the availability of cost-competitive, viable seafood-free options. It is well known that wild fish stocks across the world are in decline. Seven of the world’s top ten fisheries (by volume) target forage or low trophic level fish, 90 percent of which are processed into fish meal and fish oil used

30 in aquaculture feeds. Although the F3 Challenge acknowledged the availability of responsible sources of fishmeal and oil, the concern is to look beyond this source in order to meet the growing global demands for aquaculture production without decimating wild fish populations. “With constant reports of over-fishing, fishing down the food chain, IUU fishing, labor abuse, and rising prices, the need for alternative ingredients continues to increase,” explained Dr. Fitzsimmons. For years, scientists have been investigating various non-traditional ingredients to replace fishmeal and fish oil. Many strides have been made in this area, and the use of seafood-free ingredients including grains, terrestrial animal byproducts, distillery and brewery byproducts, algae (seaweed) products, and other plant and animal processing byproducts is increasing in prevalence. The purpose of the F3 prize is to showcase aquafeed companies who accelerate their sales of seafood-free alternatives.

“The eventual hope is that these innovations will lead to a new product category for consumers: the equivalent of 'grass-fed seafood,’ where seafood that is innovative and more environmentally friendly receives special attention.”

Kevin Fitzsimmons visits Evergreen Feed Industry’s factory in China

Sales are only possible if the company has innovated fishmeal and fish oil free alternatives in cost and quality, such that it is commercially viable. The eventual hope is that these innovations will lead to a new product category for consumers: the equivalent of 'grass-fed seafood,’ where seafood that is innovative and more environmentally friendly receives special attention. The sales-based competition was structured to award the grand prize to the aquafeed company that produced and sold the most seafood-free aquaculture feed using innovative formulations of proteins and lipids by the challenge end date of September 15, 2017. Sales and feed samples were verified by the judging committee. “As part of our due diligence as judges for the contest we received samples of the feed for analysis and then went to home countries of the contest leaders

and picked farms at random to again get samples of the feed for testing,” explained Dr. Fitzsimmons. “Each time I was impressed with the manufacture of the feed. During the farm visits I was pleased to hear the farmers tell me that the results were just as good as older feeds that contained fishmeal. In China, the farms were obviously keen on all aspects of sustainability and food safety.”

A leader in sales — and standards It became evident in mid-August, when the latest round of official sales numbers were released, that Evergreen was the clear leader with sales nearly doubling the second-place contestant. The company’s total sales of F3 feed at the end of the competition topped out at 84,691metric tons. Established in 1995, Evergreen is a corporate enterprise integrated in feed production and

31 marketing, seedling breeding, microecological preparation and health products, import and export trade. There are 33 subsidiaries belonging to Evergreen throughout China and Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Their aquatic feed has been at the top of domestic sales in China for several years, with annual sales of their aquatic feed and poultry feed combined amounting to more than 2 million tons. They have also organized and developed five national standards for feed, and are recognized as a national key leading enterprise in agriculture industrialization. “The most important sustainability issue facing aquaculture is the feed issue,” Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co. President Chen Dan said in a statement. “Global wild fisheries resources are currently being depleted to alarming levels and our oceans may be empty soon if we don’t do anything to stop overfishing and reduce the pressure on wild-fish stocks.”

In their fish-free feed, Evergreen uses alternative ingredients such as chicken meal, single-cell protein, insect protein, and plant fermentation materials. They are also utilizing enzyme preparation SD 200 from Yinong Bioengineering, Acidomix from Novus International and amino acids from Evonik Industries AG. In order to produce the fish-free feed, Evergreen had to adjust their processing parameters, especially concerning particle size, steam conditioning and conditioner retention time. Evergreen has been promoting fishmealfree feed for several years, and the competition has enabled to company to promote it more assertively. “Plenty of research is being conducted on fishmeal alternatives and fishmeal-free feed by many scientific research institutes and feed companies,” stated Dr. Cheng Chengrong, Evergreen Aquatic Feeds Expert. “Evergreen, however, after years of studies on fishmeal-free feed formulas, has developed a series of effective alternative fishmeal-free

schemes to ensure essential fish nutrition.” “Evergreen has obviously listened to their customers as well as providing them with information and products that complement these goals,” explained Dr. Fitzsimmons.

Myanmar’s Htoo Thit Co Htoo Thit Co., Myanmar’s largest feed manufacturer, placed second in the F3 competition with sales totaling 34,600 metric tons. Myanmar has the tenth largest aquaculture industry by volume in the world, with major production of carps, tilapia, catfishes, pacu, shrimp, Macrobrachium, soft-shell crab and Asian seabass (barramundi). Htoo Thit Co. partnered with Biomin in the competition to sell their fish-free feed, which utilizes Biomin supplements and soybean oil meal, soy concentrate, and poultry meal as replacements for fishmeal. “Due to the high cost of fishmeal and the fact that our most important species naturally feed on a low trophic level on vegetable matter, algae and detritus, we had already developed a diet with very low fishmeal,” stated May Myat Noe Lwin of Htoo Thit Co. “It was very easy to reformulate and replace the last fraction of fishmeal in the diets. The competition has served to raise our company profile outside of Myanmar.”

Oryza Organics pioneering extruded feeds in Pakistan

Oryza Organics’ fish-free feed

Increased exposure and promotion are a major benefit that the top three companies have received as a result of participating in the Challenge. The third


“The fact that NGO’s and public crowd funding provided most of the prize money is really encouraging in that some of the same NGO’s who complained about aquaculture in the past are now trying to be part of the solution.”

place contestant, Oryza Organics of Pakistan, has also experienced an increased international interest in their products as a result of the competition, with final sales of 1,661 metric tons. The company has been a pioneer in extruded fish feed production in Pakistan since 2012. In recent years, aquaculture in Pakistan has experienced rapid growth, primarily due to the availability of locally produced extruded floating feed for tilapia, carp, and trout. In addition, a gradual shift from extensive to semiintensive culture systems has resulted in increased production. Through successful feed trials and demonstration of commercial viability, Oryza Organics has made strides over the last three years to convince and motivate farmers to gradually switch from traditional feeding practices for extensive culture systems to floating feeds for semi-intensive culture systems. The manufacturer utilizes state of art Extru-Tech Inc (USA) to produce primarily vegetable-based feeds. “Nutritionally balanced extruded feed of Oryza Organics, containing vegetable source proteins (mainly soybean meal and other

protein meals) duly fortified with vegetable fats and premixes not only attracted fish due to better taste and smell but the good quality extrusion made such feeds more digestible and with higher availability of nutrients to fish,” stated Dr. Zahid J. Yaqub, former CEO of Oryza Organics. “Such feeds are not only sustainable, without seasonal impact & availability issues, but are cost effective compared to fishmeal based feed,” added Dr. Yaqub. “Vegetable protein feed was found more consistent in proximate analysis, pellets appearance and uniform in fish health and growth and water quality. Results were even more encouraging for tilapia in cage culture and semi-intensive tilapia and carps farming in earthen ponds. Farmers largely had improved bottom line and higher farm productivity. Consumers would always appreciate flesh quality, color, taste and aroma.” In total, over 120,000 metric tons of fishfree feed have been sold by contestants of the F3 Challenge since the beginning of the competition in May 2016. This amount of fish-free aquafeed is estimated to be equivalent to nearly 120 million forage fish from the ocean. The Challenge was funded by The World Bank and judged by University of Arizona, Monterey Bay Aquarium and New England Aquarium. In addition, approximately $140,000 of the grand prize originated from public crowdsource funding. “The publicity and interest generated by the prize and the rapid shift by aquaculture industry has brought many environmental NGO’s, chefs, and seafood buyers to the conclusion that

Dr. Zahid J. Yaqub holds a tilapia that has been fed Oryza Organics fish-free feed.

the industry is really making a concerted effort to address the issue,” stated Dr. Fitzsimmons. “The fact that NGO’s and public crowd funding provided most of the prize money is really encouraging, in that some of the same NGO’s who complained about aquaculture in the past are now trying to be part of the solution and putting their funds forward to assist improvements,” concluded Dr. Fitzsimmons. AFΩ

More information Annie Reisewitz, Strategic Ocean Solutions E:

Meredith Brooks, Staff editor, Aquafeed .com E:


A dynamic tool to derive specific dietary amino acid recommendations for farmed tilapia By Karthik Masagounder, Ph.D. and Clรกudia Figueiredo-Silva, Ph.D., Evonik Nutrition and Care GmbH

Tilapia is globally the second most farmed fish, after carp, and its annual production exceeded 5 million MT in 2015 (FAO 2017). Technological improvements in farming (e.g., mono-sex culture), genetics and feed (nutrition, feed processing) have triggered the growth of tilapia production across the world. However, sustainable growth of this industry is often challenged by soaring feed cost. Feed cost is largely dictated by dietary protein levels and their sources. There have been continuous efforts in finding alternative cost-effective protein sources while also minimizing excess levels of dietary protein. Quality of the dietary protein is determined by its amino acid composition and digestibility in relation to the requirements of fish. Effective use of alternative protein sources and further improvements in protein utilization require more precise understandings of dietary amino acid requirements of tilapia.

Data on the amino acid requirements of tilapia have been accumulating over the years. Our review show that data published till date have largely focused on juvenile stage and show wide variations (Figure 1.). Several factors (e.g., differences in fish strain/genetics, age, experimental design, diet quality and nutrient digestibility, models used) likely have attributed to the differences observed. It would be highly valuable for the tilapia feed formulators to have consistent data on the amino acid

requirements of tilapia covering their different life stages as well as farming conditions. Considering the knowledge gap, Evonik initiated a project to develop amino acid recommendation for Nile tilapia by applying factorial approach based on available data.

Figure 1. Methionine and lysine requirements of tilapia published in different studies


“Diets balanced for amino acids not only increase production efficiency and profitability, but also contribute to protecting the environment by minimizing nitrogen excretion.”

Factorial approach for determining dietary amino acid requirements In the factorial model approach, total requirement of an amino acid is determined by summing up its amounts needed to meet the physiological demands of an animal for maintenance and growth.

Amino acid needs for maintenance Maintenance can be defined as a state in which an animal maintain all its vital functions without any loss or gain in body tissue. It is basically the amount of an amino acid needed for the losses that occur in intestine, oxidative degradation, conversion of non-protein nitrogen containing molecules, and also for those used for protein turn-over. Amino acid

requirement for maintenance is derived by determining the amount of amino acid needed for zero protein gain. Maintenance requirements of amino acids for Nile tilapia was published by He et al. (2013). Hua (2013), based on model estimate of various published data, showed that maintenance requirements of different amino acids range between 2% and 31% of total amino acid requirement in fish. Maintenance needs of amino acids are expected to increase with increasing fish age.

Amino acid needs for growth Amino acid requirement for growth, on the other hand, is the amount of an amino acid needed for protein deposition. Amino acids absorbed from the gut, after meeting the obligatory needs for maintenance are diverted for protein accretion, a process that involves both protein synthesis and degradation. Whole-body protein and amino acid content of Nile tilapia (n = 274) has been analyzed since the year 2010 in Evonik’s lab using wet chemistry method (AMINOLab®). Interestingly, amino acid profile, expressed as % body protein, showed less variation for all the EAA (around 4% CV, except for His (7.4% CV)). Ratio of EAA to lysine showed to vary from 13% (Trp) to 95% (Leu) with none exceeding lysine. Amino acid profile data and protein gain were used to generate data on amino acid gain.

Amino acid utilization Amino acid requirements determined for growth is then adjusted for the rate at which the absorbed amino acid, after detecting for the basal maintenance

needs, is utilized for protein synthesis (accounts for inefficiency of utilization). Efficiency for marginal utilization of an amino acid is computed by feeding fish with test diets containing increasing levels of the test amino acid or by feeding fish with a single diet at increasing ration levels. Utilization of an amino acid for protein deposition can be influenced by the availability of other nutrients in the diet. For example, deficiency of any other essential amino acid in the diet can result in underutilization of the test amino acid. At the same time, excess levels of the test amino aicd can also undermine its utilization. Therefore, it is important to use the balanced diet for evaluating the amino acid utilization. He et al. (2013) reported amino acid utilization efficiency for both juvenile and adult stage tilapia. Amino acid utilization were also examined by other studies (e.g., Figueiredo-Silva et al., 2015) in tilapia. Several papers have reported data on amino acid retention efficiency (e.g., He et al. 2017; Michelato et al. 2016a; Michelato et al. 2016b) which also provide valuable information to understand utilization of amino acids for growth by tilapia. Together, amino acid requirement, on digestible basis, can be simplified in the following equation: AA requirement (digestible basis) = AA maintenance + (AA deposition / AA utilization) Adjusting the value for the digestibility of amino acids in the diet gives us AA in the diet on a total basis. AA requirement (total) = AA requirement (digestible basis) / AA digestibility coefficient

35 Available data were used to build a model for determining amino acid requirements for tilapia (Masagounder 2017). The tool called TAMINOTilapia® was programmed to generate amino acid recommendations for different stages of Nile tilapia based on various input parameters including body weight, growth rate feeding level, and feeding period. In commercial farming, amino acid requirements of fish can be influenced by various factors such as farming system, presence of natural food, feeding frequency, etc. Influence of these factors were considered while developing the amino acid recommendations for tilapia.

Feeding frequency Tilapia is an omnivorous species with relatively small stomach and long intestine. They have a tendency to eat small meals all day long and benefit from feeding several times a day as they lack big stomach to store food. Several studies (e.g., Pouomogne and Ombredane 2001; Villarroel et al. 2011) show evidence for increase in feeding frequency improving the performance of Tilapia. Defined amount of daily feed fed at multiple times a day is shown to improve feed and protein utilization in tilapia. Satiation feeding at every meal with increased daily feeding frequency can cause gastric overload. Therefore, it is important to standardize feeding table optimized for daily feed intake, and split equally across the number of daily feedings. Accordingly, software adjusts the amino acid recommendations for the chosen level of feeding frequency.

Farming system and contribution of natural food Tilapia farming is practiced largely in ponds and cages, but also in pens and tanks. Among the different farming types, feed management of semiintensive system needs special attention, as fish generally have access to both natural food and the commercial feed. Fertilization of ponds results in development of natural food dominated by phyto and zooplankton communities. Tilapia are visual feeders when they are young, feeding actively on selective zooplankton, and shift gradually to phytoplankton. Understanding the contribution of natural food to the total feed intake of tilapia is important to adjust the amount of feeding as well as dietary nutrient profile in semi-intensive farming. Taking these factors into account, AMINOTilapia® was further programmed using available data to adjust the amino acid recommendations for other parameters such as feeding frequency, farming system and the availability of natural food. The tool gives amino acid recommendations on both total and digestible basis expressed as % diet for the chosen dry matter content of feed. An as example, the tool generates AA recommendations shown in Table 1 for 10-g size tilapia attaining a final body weight of 64 g over a 60-day culture period in intensive

farming conditions where tilapia were considered to be fed thrice daily at 4% body weight per day for a targeted FCR of 1.25. AMINOTilapia® tool provides amino acid recommendations for different growth stages of tilapia, by simulating different production scenarios. Diets balanced for amino acids not only increase production efficiency and profitability, but also contribute to protecting the environment by minimizing nitrogen excretion.

References FAO (2017): Fishery and Aquaculture Statistics. Global aquaculture production 1950-2015 (FishstatJ). In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 2017. fishery/statistics/software/fishstatj/en. Figueiredo-Silva, C., A. Lemme, D. Sangsue, and S. Kiriratnikom (2015): Effect of DL-methionine supplementation on the success of almost total replacement of fish meal with soybean meal in diets for hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus × Oreochromis mossambicus), Aquaculture Nutrition 21: 234-241. He, J. Y., L. X. Tian, A. Lemme, W. Gao, J. H. Yang, J. Niu, and Y. J. Liu (2013): Methionine and lysine requirements for maintenance and efficiency of utilization for growth of two sizes of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), Aquaculture Nutrition 19: 629-640.

Table 1. Amino acid recommendations for juvenile tilapia generated using factorial model

36 He, J. Y., L. X. Tian, A. Lemme, C. Figueiredo-Silva, W. Gao, H. J. Yang, B. Han, S. L. Zeng, and Y. J. Liu (2017): The effect of dietary methionine concentrations on growth performance of juvenile Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fed diets with two different digestible energy levels, Aquaculture Nutrition 23: 76-89.

Hua, K. (2013): Estimating maintenance amino acids requirements of fish through a nonlinear mixed modelling approach, Aquaculture Research 44: 542-553. Masagounder, K. (2017): Amino acid recommendations for tilapia: A review of available data and princilple behind AMINOTilapia®, AMINONews® 21 (2): 115.

Michelato, M., L. V. O. Vidal, T. O. Xavier, L. B. Moura, F. L. A. Almeida, V. B. Pedrosa, V. R. B. Furuya, and W. M. Furuya (2016a): Dietary lysine require-

ment to enhance muscle development and fillet yield of finishing Nile tilapia, Aquaculture 457: 124-130.

More information

Michelato, M., L.V.O. Vidal, T.O. Xavier, T.S. Graciano, L.B.d. Moura, V.R.B. Furuya, and W.M. Furuya (2016b): Dietary threonine requirement to optimize protein retention and fillet production of fast-growing Nile tilapia Aquaculture Nutrition 22: 759-766. Pouomogne, V. and D. Ombredane (2001): Effect of feeding frequency on the growth of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in earthern ponds, Tropicultura 19 (3): 147-150. Villarroel, M., J. M. R. Alavriño and J. López-Luna (2011): Effect of feeding frequency and one day fasting on tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and water quality, The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh 63: 609-615.

Dr. Karthik Masagounder, Research Manager - Aqua Nutrition, Nutrition and Care GmbH, Hanau-Wolfgang, Germany. E:



Effects of a corn protein concentrate on the performances of red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) cultured in earthen ponds By Nguyen Nhu Tri, Ph.D1 & Nguyen Duy Hoa Ph.D2 (1): Dean - Faculty of Fisheries – Nong Lam University, Vietnam, (2): Technical Director – Empyreal Products, Cargill Inc.

Tilapia is an important freshwater fish species for aquaculture with annual global production around 5 million metric tons. The main culture system for tilapia is intensive model with high density and yield. In this model, feed cost comprises the main part of production cost. In commercial tilapia feed, fish meal is often supplemented at a level around 5% and is the most costly ingredient. In order to improve

the profit of tilapia farming, feed cost should be reduced. One of the measures to reduce feed cost is to replace fish meal by other ingredients.

Empyreal® 75 is a protein concentrate product made from corn. This naturally pure protein source provides necessary nutrients for cultured aquatic animal species in general and tilapia in particular. Empyreal® 75 also provides even, consistent expansion in extruded feeds and extraordinary oil binding capacity in pelleted diet application. Therefore, it is

feasible to utilize Empyreal® 75 to replace marine fish meal in tilapia feed.

Objective of the study To evaluate the effects of graded marine fish meal replacement by Empyreal® 75 on the final mean weight, FCR, survival rate, SGR, ADG and feed cost of red

38 tilapia cultured in hapa (mesh cages ) installed in an earthen pond.

Table 1. Feed formula of the three diets.


Treatment 1 (%)

Treatment 2 (%)

Treatment 3 (%)





The present study was conducted at Experimental Station, Nong Lam University, Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam. This experiment consisted of 3 treatments with different levels of Empyreal® 75 to replace fish meal (Treatment 1: 0% marine fish meal (60% protein) and 4% Empyreal® 75, Treatment 2: 2% marine fish meal and 2.4% Empyreal® 75, Treatment 3: 5% marine fish meal and 0% Empyreal® 75). The diets were formulated to have similar protein, lipid and Gross Energy as well as similar profile of the balanced amino acids for the three diets (Table 1 and Table 2).

Marine fishmeal








Tuna soluble








Marine fish oil (spray)




Marine fish oil add in mixer




Salt (NaCl)




Fresh rice bran




Empyreal 75








Feed wheat




Vitamin premix




The experiment was designed with 4 replicates per treatment. Red tilapia fingerlings (37.3 ± 0.2 g) were randomly stocked into 12 2-m3 hapa (2x1x1.3m) installed in a 300-m2 earthen pond at 50 fish per hapa. Plastic net was installed on top of all hapa to prevent experimented fish from jumping out (Figure1). Floating feed was made by a commercial feed mill. Fish were fed to satiation twice a day. Left-over feed was collected 1 hour after each feeding to calculate feed intake. This experiment was conducted in 12 weeks. Fish were weighed every 4 weeks to monitor growth and survival rate. At the end of the experiment, fish were harvested, counted and group weighed to determine final mean weight, FCR, survival rate, SGR, ADG and feed cost to produce 1 kg of red tilapia. Skin and fillet color were also measured at the end of the experiment by NR-3000 Handy colorimeter (Figure 2).

Mineral premix




Stay C 35%




















Choline Chloride




Mold inhibitor









Table 2. Proximate analysis


Treatment 1

Treatment 2

Treatment 3

Crude Protein (%)




Crude Fat (%)




Crude Fiber (%)




Ash (%)




Moisture (%)




Gross Energy (Kcal/kg)




39 pond to maintain ideal environmental condition for the entire experimental period.

Statistical analysis Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software. Data collected from the experiment were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance to determine if significant differences (P<0.05) in final mean weight, FCR, survival rate, SGR, ADG and feed cost between treatments. Duncan multiple comparison test was utilized to determine differences among treatment means.

Figure 1: Hapa installed in an earthen pond for the experiment

The experiment was designed with 4 During the experiment, water quality replicates per treatment. Red tilapia variables were measured as follow: fingerlings (37.3 Âą 0.2 g) were randomly Dissolved oxygen, temperature and pH stocked into 12 2-m3 hapa (2x1x1.3m) were measured twice a day (7 AM and 4 installed in a 300-m2 earthen pond at 50 PM) using YSI-550 digital oxygen/ fish per hapa. Plastic net was installed on temperature meter and SERA pH test kit top of all hapa to prevent experimented (Figure 3). Total ammonia nitrogen and fish from jumping out (Figure1). Floating nitrite were measured twice a week by feed was made by a commercial feed spectrometric method. Water in the mill. Fish were fed to satiation twice a pond was exchanged regularly and day. Left-over feed was collected 1 hour aeration system was installed into the after each feeding to calculate feed intake. This experiment was conducted in 12 weeks. Fish were weighed every 4 weeks to monitor growth and survival rate. At the end of the experiment, fish were harvested, counted and group weighed to determine final mean weight, FCR, survival rate, SGR, ADG and feed cost to produce 1 kg of red tilapia. Skin and fillet colour were also measured at the end of the experiment by NR-3000 Figure 2: NR-3000 Handy colorimeter. Handy colorimeter (Figure 2).

Figure 3: DO meter and pH test

40 Table 3: Value of water quality parameters during the experimental period.



“From the results of this

DO (mg/L) - Morning

3.48 ± 0.51

study, it is concluded that

DO (mg/L) - Afternoon

5.85 ± 1.00


Temperature ( C) - Morning

29.8 ± 3.1

Temperature (oC) - Afternoon

31.7 ± 0.8

to replace up to 100% of fish

pH - Morning

7.6 ± 0.2

meal in a commercial diet for

pH - Afternoon

8.0 ± 0.3

Empyreal® 75 could be used

the red tilapia without affecting the performances

TAN (mg/L)

0.356 ± 0.107

Nitrite (mg/L)

0.035 ± 0.029

Data in Table 3 are expressed as Mean ± SD.

as well as the skin’s redness and the whiteness of fillet.

Table 4. Final mean weight, FCR, survival rate, SGR, ADG and feed cost of experimented fish.



T2 a

37.4 ± 0.1a

Initial Wt. (g)

37.3 ± 0.1

Final Wt. (g)

310.0 ± 11.5a

323.4 ± 19.6a

317.3 ± 19.8a

SGR (%/day)

2.52 ± 0.04a

2.57 ± 0.08a

2.54 ± 0.07a


1.41 ± 0.02a

1.33 ± 0.05a

1.42 ± 0.07a

Economic FCR

1.41 ± 0.04a

1.36 ± 0.07a

1.46 ± 0.10a


Survival rate (%)

98.0 ± 2.8a

96.5 ± 2.5a

96.0 ± 3.7a

Water quality

ADG (g/day)

3.25 ± 0.14a

3.41 ± 0.24a

3.33 ± 0.24a

The value of water quality parameters in the earthen pond during the experimental period were presented in Table 3.

Feed price (VND/kg) Feed cost (VND)

37.3 ± 0.2

T3 a


9,204 a

12,849 ± 320

12,474 ± 648

9,306 a

13,560 ± 944a

Data in table 4 are expressed as Mean ± SD. Data with the same superscript in the same row are not significant differences (P>0.05).

The performances of experimented fish

Economic FCR = Total weight of feed consumed/(Total final weight – Total initial weight)

Final mean weight, FCR, survival rate, SGR, ADG and feed cost of experimented fish are presented in Table 4.

FCR = Total weight of feed consumed/(Total final weight – Total initial weight + Total weight of dead fish)

Data presented in Table 4 showed that all parameters were not significantly different among the 3 treatments (P>0.05). Empyreal® 75 could replace up to 100% of marine fish meal in a commercial diet for the red tilapia. The

All the values are the statistical average values of the four replicates, except the Feed price.

Feed cost to produce 1 kg of the red tilapia = Economic FCR*Feed price.

lowest feed cost was obtained at treatment 2 (60% fish meal was replaced by Empyreal® 75). The supplementation of Empyreal® 75 to replace fish meal could reduce feed cost from 711 VND

(Treatment 1) to 1,086 VND (Treatment 2). Therefore, the supplementation of Empyreal® 75 to replace fish meal in commercial diet for the red tilapia could increase profit for farmers remarkably.

41 Table 5. The redness of skin at the darkest point, middle of the body and the tail as well as the whiteness of fillet of experimented fish.



T2 a

10.38 ± 4.09a

Redness-Darkest point

9.62 ± 6.23


10.70 ± 7.33a

9.79 ± 5.90a

9.62 ± 5.51a


15.53 ± 6.07a

12.17 ± 6.35a

12.23 ± 5.52a

Whiteness of fillet

40.19 ± 1.74a

41.15 ± 1.68a

40.44 ± 1.64a

The redness of skin at the darkest point, middle of the body and the tail as well as the whiteness of fillet of experimented fish were presented at Table 5. The skin’s redness of 3 different points along the body and the whiteness of fillet were not significant difference. The supplementation of Empyreal® 75 to replace fish meal at different levels, even at 100% replacement level does not affect the skin’s redness and whiteness of the fillet (Figure 4).

9.94 ± 5.91

T3 a

Conclusions From the results of this study, it is concluded that Empyreal® 75 could be used to replace up to 100% of fish meal in a commercial diet for the red tilapia without affecting the performances as well as the skin’s redness and the whiteness of fillet. Therefore, this ingredient is recommended to be used in the feed to eliminate fish meal and increase return on investment as well as the sustainability of the red tilapia farming industry. AFΩ

Dr. Nguyen Nhu Tri

Dr. Nguyen Duy Hoa

More information

Dr. Nguyen Duy Hoa, Technical Director – Empyreal Products, Cargill Inc. E: Figure 4: The whiteness of fillet of all 3 treatments.


27 – 29





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Don’t neglect the

optimization By Ian Mealey, Product Line Director – Formulation, Format Solutions Ltd., Cargill.

Aquafeed manufacturers around the world form a significant role in the food chain, bringing quality feeds to the aquaculture industry as it plays its part in feeding an ever increasing population. The pressure on manufacturers to strive for efficiency in all aspects of production is constant. Feed producers are looking to software systems to assist in these efforts as they cope with various pressures. These include the need to control costs, managing ingredient variability, industry consolidation, sourcing of talent and increasing regulatory pressures. Various systems used by feed producers, such as

feed formulation and management systems, are being augmented by links with on-farm systems to further enhance capabilities through data analysis and modelling. Feed formulation software is one of the longest established systems used in this food chain. A lot of effort and expenditure is spent in high cost software implementations, such as ERP systems, which certainly bring value to feed producers. After all, they assist in streamlining transactions and processes, and managing costs of operations. Feed formulation software, on the other hand, often involves smaller scale implementations, but still has the potential to bring significant value to the user, for example, in driving cost-savings. In discussing feed formulation, significance is rightly given to the ability of these systems to integrate with others;

automating the collection of inputs and the distribution of outputs ensures accuracy and efficiency in these transactions. However, one detects less emphasis on the optimization capabilities of the system. This may be driven by –

Market pressures such as increased customization of feeds reducing the role of optimization

Increased time pressure which reduces the focus on optimization exercises

An emphasis by formulation suppliers on the integration story, seeing the “big” ERP system as the main driver in the business

Difficulty in managing and expressing the variability in the data

Limitations of systems to adequately tackle the questions that are important to users

44 Format Solutions recognizes the need for a holistic approach in managing the complexities of running a feed business, and provides a range of tools to assist in all aspects. One of its core strengths is formulation software and is a global supplier in this field, bringing innovative solutions for over 30 years. Since the highest proportion of feed costs is the cost of the ingredients, we believe that optimization is a fundamental capability for aquafeed businesses, ensuring continued nutritional quality in feed to customers and ensuring efficient use of ingredient resources. iNDIGO™, Format’s next generation formulation tool is designed to leverage technology to ensure the benefits of optimization are available in a way that is suitable for users current needs. iNDIGO™ does this in 3 specific ways – •

Releasing time for important optimization exercises.

Providing efficient data management tools, including the types of integrations mentioned earlier. Formulation requires a lot of data inputs which must be accurate, up to date and ready at the right time. Ensuring this can be managed efficiently increases confidence and, most importantly, releases time for optimization, the activity which returns real value.

Increased accuracy in optimization exercises

iNDIGO™ offers a flexible structure which allows the most accurate modelling of real-life variability yet possible in a formulation system. Using the Time Period feature, users can easily set up, for example, a

series of future scenarios with the variability managed to the level of detail required. This ensures that optimization exercises reduce inbuilt assumptions and are therefore producing more accurate predictions of cost and ingredient requirements. Additional features allow easy exploration of alternative scenarios, providing sophisticated risk assessment opportunities, and supporting decision-making on resource purchases and allocation.

making support. The opportunities presented by formula optimization are enhanced by utilizing the system’s capabilities for integration, data analysis and reporting to optimize the whole process. Formulation is at the hub of the aquafeed business and iNDIGO™ will ensure the formulation function continues to bring value into the future.

New optimization capabilities AFΩ

Linear programming has traditionally been the tool of choice for formulation systems, and continues to be relevant in most cases. Advances in nutritional research and the recognition that other factors have a role to play in the design of the “ideal” formula, raises opportunities for new and creative approaches. Format Solutions delivers new opportunities through its specialized solvers that enable the incorporation of multiple nonlinear constraints in products, or additional constraints found in production facilities that will affect formula design. Using these solvers will increase accuracy of solutions and evaluation exercises where such constraints are a factor. iNDIGO™ is focused on providing the most convenient formulation facilities on the market through an easy to use system with unrivalled integration and business intelligence capabilities. The foundation, however, is in the classleading, innovative optimization features. By continuing research into relevant solutions and delivery, iNDIGO™ provides users the opportunity to increase accuracy of optimization exercises, improve risk assessment and decision-

More information Ian Mealey, Product Line Director – Formulation, Format Solutions Ltd., Cargill.



How an integrated formulation and quality control platform adds value to the aquafeed industry By Lynn Verstrepen, Product manager Aquafeed, Feed & Petfood at Adifo Software

Aquafeed manufacturers have to deal with complex product development processes in which challenges like moisture control (due to extrusion) play an important role. Controlling the evaporation has an effect on the recipe design. Therefore, a precise formulation platform that takes into account production settings is crucial. Deliver what you promise It is important to deliver what you promise to your customer. Manufacturers have to align the quality of the final product with the product declaration. A smooth integration between the quality control system and the formulation will guarantee that the raw material specs are always up-to-date for the recipe formulation. Integrating different sources of quality data makes the quality control platform even more efficient in supporting the daily operations. In most cases, the capture of quality data is organized in data silos and ends up being separated from other data. A silo is a system, process, department, etc. that operates in isolation from others. As a consequence, it is also isolated from broader

decision-making. Therefore, merging data silos in one central solution encourages information sharing for better business decisions. How can smart integrations and flexible recipe design lead to increased efficiency? Here are four orchestrated scenarios.

Scenario 1 - Intake of raw materials This scenario starts from the creation of a sample from intake of raw materials to the approval for unloading the truck. Figure 1 gives an overview of the processes that take place during the intake of raw materials and a few

Figure 1: Smart integrations at intake of raw materials

46 possible integrations that can be set up. Figures 2 and 3 show the corresponding result in a sample in Adifo’s BESTMIX Quality Control software.

Figure 2: Sample for intake of raw materials

in BESTMIX QC software (Visual control, NIR & Don analysis)

This scenario is based on the intake being registered in the ERP or MES software of the company. This software sends the relevant information for the intake to the BESTMIX Quality Control software. As a result, a sample is automatically created in the QC software, without any user interaction. Smart QC software, like BESTMIX, will then assign analyses to the sample based on the quality control plan. All companies have their plans and targets on how often to test products in different stages of the logistic flow. As testing costs time and money, it is imperative to optimize the sampling and testing. Therefore, analysis schedules, stating the conditions and frequency of appliance, are used to automate the execution of the quality control plan. The next step in the process flow supports the daily job of the plant operators. At the creation of the sample, sample labels are generated (one label per sample to take). So based on this number, the operator knows how many samples to take and which type of bag to use and where to send it to. Once the labels are printed, the operator starts the QC process by taking samples from the intake and by checking the delivery note and truck cleaning documents. The operator fills out the document conformity status in the QC software. He also executes a visual control of the raw material (texture, color ‌) and fills out the results in the sample. During the visual check, the operator can look at reference pictures and guidance texts in the QC software as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 3: Sample for intake of raw materials in BESTMIX QC software (Wet chemistry analysis)

In this scenario, the sample also has to be NIR scanned. At the creation of the sample in the QC software and the assignment of the NIR package test in the sample itself, the sample data (for example, sample code, product code and upper and lower limits) is automatically sent to the NIR instrument in the plant. Thanks to these limits in the NIR device, the operator has an immediate evaluation when doing the NIR scan and can decide to rescan if necessary. Now, when performing the actual scan, the operator will first prepare the sample and present it to the NIR device. The

operator selects the sample from the sample queue in the instrument software, ideally via barcode reading found on the sample label that was generated by the QC software. As a result, the product code and calibration is found. The scanning starts and the instrument generates the prediction and the NIR software compares the results with the limits as delivered by the BESTMIX QC software. Meanwhile the predictions are also automatically captured in the QC software without user interaction. Furthermore, the intake is also tested for

47 DON, a mycotoxin. AccuScan reader software generates the result for the DON-test and saves it in an Excel file. This file is saved in a predefined folder and is automatically processed into the QC software. This is the third integration that focusses on limiting user interaction and thus increasing efficiency.

At this point, all sample test results are not yet available. But as soon as all release critical tests are performed (in this example, the green ones) the QC software can generate an approval or rejection notification for truck unloading. The approval is based on the results of those tests being in line with the tolerances or not. A message is returned to the ERP or MES software with the release status and some relevant results. In this way, the truck unloading process time can be reduced significantly.

As mentioned before, the sample is not fully completed yet because more tests may be assigned to the sample which may take some more time. In this scenario, a sample is sent to a service lab, requesting to perform a wet chemistry analysis. The QC software will send a file with the request to the lab and print a request submission form with all tests to perform. Once the results are available, the service lab prepares the certificates of analysis and uploads the results. Importing of the results does not require any human interaction, but is automatically processed and filled in in the sample. Even the certificate of analysis can be attached to the sample automatically.

All sample results are now available and the sample is completed. This scenario clearly shows that using smart integrations, to bring all quality data from

multiple data sources in one central platform and so avoiding multiple data silos, leads to increased efficiency. The centralization of the quality control data is also enhanced, allowing better business decisions and facilitating the traceability in the production process chain, upstream as well as downstream.

Scenario 2 - Recipe design of extruded products The second scenario starts with the fact that some raw materials, like cereals, have fluctuating nutritional content. In this case, it is imperative to monitor the quality of those materials over time to ensure precise formulation. Figure 4 shows the interactive wizard from Adifo’s BESTMIX Quality Control software as used by nutritionists to transform sample data into new values for the raw material

48 matrix. The form shows all relevant data from individual samples, including the suggested new values for formulation. Once the raw material matrix is up to date, the recipe design can start. During this recipe design, the formulator takes into account the specific product development constraints and production process parameters. As the finished product is extruded and then dried to the requested Dry Matter content, the formulator will take this into account upon recipe optimization. Figure 5 shows a recipe with a constraint on evaporation in BESTMIX formulation. The analytical constraints, as shown in Figure 5, are of course defined on the final product. This enables the Aquafeed manufacturer to deliver the exact nutritional quality as claimed on the product declaration: nothing more, nothing less.

Figure 4: Transform sample data into raw material specs in BESTMIX QC software

Once the total recipe is designed, the formulator will break down the master recipe into sub recipes to reflect the production steps. This is done by the Mix functionality as provided in BESTMIX formulation. Figure 6 shows how the master recipe is split in an extruder recipe and the coating ingredients. By this, the formulator can assign specific parameters, such as an evaporation constraint, to the extruder recipe only. The coating ingredients are consequently not affected. As a result, accurate raw material dosing is ensured leading to a compliant product at the lowest cost. Finally, an Aquafeed manufacturer also has to deal with variants on the standard recipes, like other levels of pigments, medicated variants‌ BESTMIX formulation allows in this case an easy management of related recipes so that the formulator only needs to maintain the standard recipe. Whenever the standard

Figure 5: Take moisture loss due to extrusion into account during optimisation in BESTMIX Formulation software

49 Scenario 3 - Production of extruded products The third scenario is based on the production of an extruded product. Here again, the production order is generated in the ERP or MES software and is delivered to the QC software.

Figure 6: Reflect production steps by breaking down the master recipe in an extruder sub recipe and the coating in BESTMIX Formulation software

recipe is updated, all related recipes are consequently updated in an automated

way. This leads again to a very flexible and easy recipe design process.

The production of extruded products requires multiple process steps and equipment. The first step is the mixing process of dry and wet raw materials. As a finished product is required with tight limits of moisture content, the latter is analysed in the mix via a Sartorius instrument. Again, the result is captured in the QC software automatically, without user interaction.

After mixing, different processes are applied, such as preconditioning, extruding, drying, cooling and finally coating. These processes are regulated

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50 Figure 7: Sample for monitoring the production in BESTMIX.QC software.

by multiple variables and set points and are therefore complex, requiring experienced operators. A time-based logging of those settings and variables is relevant to improve the understanding of the process and steer it whenever it is necessary to get towards the correct set points. The logging of the settings in a centralized QC software enables the reuse of this knowledge for future production orders. Therefore, the set points and variables (such as sieve size, number of knives, temperature, pressure, steam, and density) are captured multiple times during the production process in the QC software. The software will also give extra guidance by using warning symbols when a result is not within the expected boundaries, so that the operator can steer the production and adjust some set points / variables where needed to get to the required result. Finally, the finished product can be tested for nutritional content via a NIR scan, where again the automated interface can be used to upload the results. This testing is important because, before the product goes to packaging, the manufacturer wants to be sure that the nutritional content is exactly what he is claiming on the packaging. Scenario 4 - Sales order handling The last scenario handles the sales order process. Once again, the sample in the QC software is created from a transaction in the ERP (or MES) software with information like: product, order number, customer, quantity, date of delivery, etc. As a company delivering packaged goods, a visual check of the products is done at palletizing to confirm that everything complies with the company’s quality

Figure 8: Sample for visual control of the sales order in BESTMIX QC software.

standards. Typical questions in this case are: is the plastic foil wrapped correctly? Is the label content correct? Are labels readable? Are some boxes damaged? Etc. All these checks can be filled in the QC software directly. When an operator notices something is wrong, e.g. with the label, a picture can be taken and automatically attached to the sample. This way all data is stored centrally in the

integrated QC software, allowing full traceability. In the above scenarios, I focused on integration and smart recipe design. Precise formulation combined with an integrated control of quality is clearly a strategic asset and a differentiator, giving the Aquafeed manufacturer a better chance to win in the market. AFâ„Ś

More information Lynn Verstrepen, Product manager Aquafeed, Feed & Petfood at Adifo Software. E:


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29 – November 1 : 2017 Algae Biomass Summit Lake City, Utah Information

26 – Mar 16: International short course: Responsible aquaculture development for food security and economic progress The Netherlands Information



2 – 4: AFIA Equipment Manufacturers Conference Orlando, Florida, USA Information

27 Aquafeed Horizons Asia 2018 Bangkok, Thailand Information

23 – 26: Asian Pacific Aquaculture (APA) Taipei, Taiwan Information 25 – 26: AVIANA Nigeria Ibadan, Nigeria Information 25 – 27: Aquafeed Extrusion Technology Short Course Norway Information 26 – 27: Food & Feed Drying Technology (Europe) Ås, Norway Information

May 23: Aquaculture UK 2018 Exhibition Aviemore, Scotland, UK Information

July 4 – 6: Indo Livestock 2018 Jakarta, Indonesia Information