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Alternative feed ingredient enhances survival and weight in shrimp

Friday, February 5, 2021

Menon Renewable Products found that producers can significantly reduce the amount of fishmeal used in shrimp diets on its latest study conducted with National Aquaculture Group (Naqua). The study found that shrimp fed diets containing MrFeed® showed enhanced survival of 19%, an increase in growth of 18%, and generated a 40% increase in profitability for farmers when compared to traditional diets. 

The nursery trial was designed for feed formulas containing 0-15% MrFeed® Pro50. A total of 24 nursery ponds were stocked with SPF Litopeneaus vannamei PLs at a density of 437 shrimp per square meter, totaling 20,000 shrimp. Of the 24 ponds, 12 were fed diets containing a range of 5-15% MrFeed® Pro50 while the other 12 ponds were fed a control diet without MrFeed® Pro50. Shrimp were fed 5% of average body weight for a total of 31-40 days. At harvest, shrimp were collected and measured for survival, average body weight, and feed conversion ratio (FCR), which together allow for the evaluation of overall economic performance.

Diets with MrFeed® were formulated at inclusion levels that ranged from 5% to 15%, allowing for a significant reduction of fishmeal when compared to the control diet. Compared to the control, shrimp fed the 15% MrFeed® diet achieved an 18% greater average body weight and a 19% higher survival rate over the 40-day growth cycle. Furthermore, the average feed conversion ratio (FCR) was 2.0 for the control and 1.4 for the 15% MrFeed® diet, representing a 40% improvement for MrFeed®.

“MrFeed® was developed with the goal of replacing both antibiotics and fishmeal in aquaculture diets, and this study has demonstrated its achievement of that mission yet again,” said Suresh Menon, founder and president of Menon. “Through each of our studies, including this one at one of the world’s largest shrimp farms, we have proven that our product can replace fishmeal while strengthening the overall economics of shrimp aquaculture. The results of this study were conclusive that MrFeed® is not only a viable option for replacement of fishmeal but a superior animal feed ingredient altogether. MrFeed® is a disruptive technology that is already being produced at scale with pricing that is competitive to traditional feed formulations, even before factoring in the economic benefits. There is currently no product on the market that can deliver the performance benefits of MrFeed® while delivering on a key sustainability challenge – the elimination of fishmeal from aquaculture diets.”

With a history in biofuels and cellulosic waste processing, Menon has expertise in handling organic feedstocks to produce custom-tailored molecules and nutritional components. MrFeed® Pro50 was developed as a high protein shrimp ingredient (minimum 50%) containing a blend of amino acids, peptides and nucleotides that have been shown to not only promote growth but also enhance digestive health in animals. 

Noting Naqua’s sustainability mission, Menon began its relationship with Naqua in 2018 with the intent to help them reduce reliance on fishmeal in its shrimp feeds. The teams worked in partnership to organize a nursery trial and design optimal feed formulas. While Naqua does not endorse any third-party vendors, this was done as part of its R&D trials.

MrFeed® has been tested on more than 400 million shrimp in trials around the world, averaging a 25% increase in yield as enhanced immune system health drives faster growth and higher survival. The product has been tested extensively in commercial shrimp ponds worldwide in countries including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and many others.

Check out Menon’s recent article in the latest issue of Aquafeed Magazine with more trial results.

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