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Feed Supplements To Achieve Optimal Shrimp Farming

- Jan 28, 2019 -

Feed supplements to achieve optimal shrimp farming

Shrimp production is growing rapidly and their diets are becoming more complex. In this article, we delved into the use of plant molecules, organic acids and prebiotics.

Reducing the use of antibiotics is an important issue in shrimp farming. The challenge is to maintain performance levels while reducing the use of antibiotics. This can be done by using plant molecules, organic acids and prebiotics as an alternative. The combination of all the supplements in the feed subtly combines the positive characteristics of the substance and also uses a synergistic effect. However, in order to obtain the best nutritional effect, it is necessary to adjust the application method in consideration of the characteristics of the supplement used.


World shrimp production has grown substantially. In the past decade, the compound annual growth rate has been about 10%. Photo: Dreamstime

Shrimp industry growth

World shrimp production has grown substantially. In the past 10 years, the compound annual growth rate is about 10%. In 2017, 6 million tons of shrimp were produced using about 8.5 million tons of feed. The increase in shrimp production is the result of stagnant wild catches since 2003. The higher the feed quality, the higher the yield and the new technology allows for higher stocking densities. The main producers of shrimp are China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam. They account for 90% of global production and produce about 2 million hectares. Smaller markets are also growing as the high potential of the shrimp industry is of interest to other countries.

Disease challenge

The main variety (80%) used in shrimp production is Litopenaeus vannamei, also known as White Leg Shrimp. This is followed by Penaeus monodon or Giant Tiger Shrimp (15%). Compared to the penaeus (Penaeus monodon), Litopenaeus vannamei exhibits higher acceptance for high-density cultivation, high-quality broodstock, and lower protein requirements. A major challenge in shrimp production is the occurrence of disease. In 2017, they caused an economic loss of about $2 billion. The most common diseases are: early death syndrome or acute hepatic pancreatic necrosis (EMS / AHPND), white fecal syndrome (WFS), white spot syndrome (WSS), Haemophilus enterobacter (EHP) and runaway synthesis Sign (RMS). High stocking densities, poor water quality and lack of nutrients are often the best prerequisites for these diseases. The resulting higher susceptibility to pathogens leads to poor health and decreased growth performance.

Use feed additives

The three main product groups used as supplements for shrimp production are plant molecules, organic acids and prebiotics.


In aquaculture, the plant molecules carvacrol and cinnamaldehyde are perfect. Both can damage harmful bacteria and prevent their growth by interfering with processes in bacterial cells. They destroy the bacterial enzyme metabolism and prevent proliferation. The extent of inhibition depends on the dose of the plant molecule. In order to obtain a flexible use of the liquid feed additive, the plant molecules are stabilized by an emulsifier. Carvacrol and cinnamaldehyde are good tools for improving intestinal health and digestion.

Organic acid

Several studies of organic acids such as citric acid, propionic acid and formic acid have shown that organic acids have a positive effect on growth performance, immunity and resistance to various Vibrio species.


The use of prebiotics is also a common practice in aquaculture. One source of prebiotics is yeast cells. For example, Saccharomyces cerevisiae is composed of β-glucan and mannan oligosaccharides. Part of the positive effect of prebiotics on gut health is the agglutination of pathogens. Harmful bacteria such as Vibrio spp. The composite is discharged and discharged. The other part is the promotion of beneficial intestinal flora. Only certain microorganisms can use mannooligosaccharides as a source of energy, for example, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. These beneficial bacteria help the shrimp absorb and utilize nutrients. They also produce metabolites (organic acids) which additionally inhibit the proliferation of pathogens. In summary, mannooligosaccharides and beta-glucan can increase intestinal balance and intestinal health.

Use the appropriate application

It is important to know how to use feed additives to prevent them from being damaged or losing their effectiveness. For feed mills, it is important to know that plant molecules are not thermally stable. Therefore, adding to the mixer can have a negative impact. Heat treatment increases the loss of highly volatile plant molecules and also affects their efficacy in a negative manner. In order to avoid these negative consequences, it is recommended to apply plant molecules to the feed after granulation using a drum or vacuum coater. The uniform mixture with the oil is kept in motion by the screw in the tank of the coater. This allows the additive to be evenly distributed during the coating process. The type and amount of oil is consistent with the availability of regional oils and the fat absorption capacity of the feed. On the other hand, the yeast cell wall is thermostable and can be added to the raw material of the basal feed in a mixer. On the farm, the application is similar to the coating method described above. All supplements, plant molecules, organic acids and prebiotics must be homogeneously mixed with the binder (eg molasses, gelatin or oil) and dispensed onto the prepared shrimp feed. This can be done in a plastic tarpaulin, basin or pug factory. Tests have shown that feed additives remain in the feed and on the feed due to the fat surface and hydrophobicity of the emulsion. This means that the product is stable when added to water.
In conclusion

Plant molecules and prebiotics are all effective tools for aquaculture. The combination of the two brings additional benefits due to synergies. In order to achieve maximum efficiency, the substance must be applied to the feed according to its specific characteristics, such as thermal stability.

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