News 435 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Victam Asia: successful Aquafeed Horizons

The conference Aquafeed Horizons Asia, organised at the Victam Asia in Bangkok, March 6 provided a great update on the current issues in aqua feed ingredients and processing. The conference was organised by and attracted around 160 attendants.

Feed formulation to optimise aquafeed performance
Drs Peter Coutteau from Inve Aquaculture Nutrition in Belgium talked about innovative concepts in aquafeed formulation to optimise performance and health. According to Coutteau the aqua feed industry is a dynamic one, but plagues with some problems. For example, diseases, global scarcity of certain feed ingredients, consumer sensitivity for quality and food safety and sustainable use of fish feed ingredients such as fish meal and oil. He addresses that aqua feed diets are now more focused on getting more nutrients out of existing ingredients. This has boosted the use of the enzyme phytase for example. Also more digestibility enhancers are used in feed formulations these days. Further work at Inve includes the understanding of different mechanisms for different species, optimise the application of ingredients in feed mills and fine tune the application of ingredients for maximum formulation flexibility.

Novel feeding attractants for sustainable aquaculture
Dr Andrew Moore from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science in the UK gave a presentation about the development of novel feeding attractants for sustainable aquaculture. He explained that attractants (such as the product Aquatice) can be better used directly in the water instead of incorporate them in the feed pellets. In addition, Moore emphasized that the use of pharmaceuticals may negatively impact the sense of smell of the fishes and shrimps. This leads to decreased detection of the attractants used. Trials with the product Aquatice also showed higher growth and survival in tilapia, Moore pointed out. Also the size, length and weight of the animals was better than the control group.

Palatability improvements in shrimp feed
Dr Vincent Fournier from Aquativ in France updated the attendants on palatability improvements in shrimp feed. Fournier explained some recent trials that have been conducted in which several palatability enhancers were added to low fish meal shrimp diets. These diets were then compared with diets that contained high levels of fish meal. Results showed no significant differences between the low and high fish meal diets.

According to Fournier, it is therefore possible to replace scarce raw materials such as fish meal with more available plant based materials when using attractants.

Galen Rokey from Wenger Manufacturing in the US gave a speeche about the ingredient trends and the effects on the extrusion process. He explained that extrusion makes it possible to make very small particles, enables to make sinking or floating feet and it enables to use a higher level of fat (internal fat and fat coating). When using atmospheric coating, a maximum of 20% of fat van be incorporated in the pellet. When a fat content of more than 20% is desired, the vacuum coating techniques should be used.

Technical advancements in extruded shrimp feeds
Joe Kearns, also from Wenger in the US gave a presentation about the technical advancements in extruded shrimp feeds. Kearns explained that the following factors need to be taken into consideration: the feed must target the nutritional requirements of the animals (shrimps in this case), the feed must be of high quality, it has to follow environmental compliance and lastly, the feed has to have favorable economic considerations. Kearns explained that fish feeding started with hand feeding of mixed feeds, then it moved to cold forming/moist diets, then the feed was produced with the pellet cooker. Nowadays, most aqua feed is produced by using extrusion.
Extrusion enables to produce floating and sinking pellets, smaller pellet sizes (for shrimps for example) and will eradicate anti nutritional factors, viruses and other pathogens.

Kearns said that Wenger is currently looking at producing more user friendly machines and techniques to be able to produce multiple products at the same time. Wenger is also working on increasing the capacity of the extruders.

Other speakers included Dr Juadee Pogmanereet from the Thai Department of Fisheries, Dimitri Sclabos from Tharos in Chile, Will Henry from Extru-Tech in the US, Colin Mair from Cormal Technologies in the UK and Ernest Papadoyianis and Sal Cherch, both from Neptune Industries in the US.

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