Evonik Industries is starting up in Antwerp (Belgium), the world’s first production plant for a new methionine source specifically for shrimps and other crustaceans.
AQUAVI Met-Met, the dipeptide of two DL-methionine molecules, is expected to be launched on the market in mid-2016 and will be used as an aquaculture feed additive. Dr Reiner Beste, chairman of the board of management of Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH, says: “With this new product we’re extending our range of feed amino acids for animal nutrition to include another specialty with high value for our customers. This further strengthens our position as a market and technology leader.”
In 2015, no less than half of the fish, crustaceans, and shellfish consumed globally originated from aquaculture. Fishmeal being part of the feed as a protein source is a significant cost factor for farmers. Supplementation with amino acids allows significant reduction of the proportion of fishmeal in feeds. But shrimps and crustaceans have totally different feeding habits and digestive systems than, for example, fish. This is why Evonik developed the new product, especially for them. It is significantly less water-soluble than DL-methionine and not so easily leached out of the feed. In the digestive tract of shrimps the dipeptide breaks down and methionine becomes available for protein synthesis at exactly the right time.
Feeding trials showed that just 0.56 kg of the product in 1,000 kg of shrimp feed results in the same growth as 1 kg of DL-methionine. This increases the efficiency and sustainability of shrimp farming. The product has already been registered as a feed additive in many countries, with more to follow says Evonik. The new methionine source will initially be available for shrimps and crustaceans but its efficiency is currently being tested for other species.