Evonik Industries has started the world’s first production plant for a new methionine source specifically for shrimps and other crustaceans. The plant, based in Antwerp, Belgium, will help to increase the efficiency and sustainability of crustacean aquaculture.
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.
“With AQUAVI® Met-Met 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,” said Dr Reiner Beste, Chairman of the Board of Management of Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH.
In 2015, more than half of the fish, crustaceans, and shellfish consumed globally, originated from aquaculture. Fishmeal as a protein source in feed is a significant cost factor for farmers, and supplementation with amino acids allows this to be reduced.
Shrimps and crustaceans have different feeding habits and digestive systems than fish, and AQUAVI® Met-Met has been developed specially 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. As feeding trials in many countries have shown, just 0.56 kg of AQUAVI® Met-Met 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.
AQUAVI® Met-Met has already been registered as a feed additive in many countries, with more to follow. The new methionine source will initially be available for shrimps and crustaceans but its efficiency is currently being tested for other species.