Use of enzymes in soy and cereals feed in shrimp farming
Shrimp feed is based on fishmeal, but with the constant growth of the human population and the high costs of commodities, fish-based feeds are being replaced...
Shrimp farming is found across many countries. Annual production has been estimated at 4,569 million MT in 2021, where China, India and Ecuador are the largest producers. Shrimp are crustaceans that feed on algae and other crustaceans since they are carnivorous. Traditionally, shrimp feed is based on fishmeal, but with the constant growth of the human population and the high costs of commodities, fish-based feeds are being replaced. Therefore, shrimp feed has been evolving to improve production costs. Nowadays shrimp feed is formulated with vegetables that were previously used exclusively for the “land” animal industry. The most used are soy hulls and pellets from soybeans and cereals.
A profitable production needs to transition to high biological value and low costs formulations. These requirements are met by soybeans and cereals, due to their high protein and metabolizable energy content. To achieve a balanced diet, it is necessary to add micro-ingredients to meet the metabolic shrimp needs according to their development stage.
Soy flour is an excellent protein option to include in the diet. It has one of the best amino acid profiles compared to other flours. The limiting amino acids in soybean meal are methionine and cystine, while arginine and phenylalanine are present in smaller quantities.
Soybeans have some antinutritional factors, such as trypsin inhibitors, which reduce the activities of trypsin and chymotrypsin, which are pancreatic enzymes involved in protein digestion, and lectins: This type of toxic protein is chemically a hemagglutinin, causing red blood cells agglutination. All these factors decrease shrimp performance, causing economic losses. To counteract these unwanted effects, enzymes such as proteases are added to the formulation, which help metabolize plant-based proteins. The addition of other enzymes as amylase, xylanase and cellulases is also necessary when using cereal carbohydrate sources, since shrimp do not have enzymes that can metabolize starch and other polysaccharides present in cereals.
As a reference, you can see the parameters of the shrimp feed formulation, where the high protein request can be seen:
- 35 % protein
- 30 – 45% carbohydrates
- 5 – 10% vegetable fats
- 12 – 15% humidity
- 5 % fiber
- Vitamins: A, D3, B and K.
- Minerals: calcium, magnesium, and potassium
- Probiotic bacteria and yeasts
Given the high demand for shrimp soy and cereal-based feed, Biovet S.A. developed the Alquerzim line, designed exclusively with enzymes that improve the shrimp feed digestion. Knowing the raw materials used in the feed formulations, a premix is made to best suits the shrimp diet. Alquerzim is administered with food, helps to metabolize antinutritional factors, starches and polysaccharides present in soybeans and cereals-based diets. Through better availability and uptake of nutrients, shrimp increase their weight and productivity, visible as economic profits.