Nutrition & Care

With methionine, fish can eat less and grow better

As an old saying goes, hunger breeds discontentment - fish, shrimp, crabs and other aquatic animals are loved by consumers because of rich nutrients and delicious taste. Scientific research shows that fish is the best source of animal protein for humans.

At present, the aquatic animals of our daily consumption are mostly grown by ingesting feed.The most important raw material of aquatic feed is fishmeal, which provides high-quality protein for the growth of aquatic animals. However, due to the depletion of resources, our country and the world’s supply of fishmeal is facing an increasingly tense situation. The proportion of fishmeal in feed gets smaller and smaller, while inexpensive cottonseed, rapeseed and other vegetable protein sources are accounting for an increasing share. From nutrition view, the vegetable proteins tend to be relatively low in methionine, and heavy use of them can lead to a lack of methionine as well as imbalance of amino acid in feed, thus resulting in lower feed efficiency and slower growth of aquatic animals. Therefore, the development of fishmeal substitutes has become an important topic for Chinese feed industry.

With years of experience in animal nutrition and feed industry, Evonik Industries specifically developed a methionine product for the aquaculture industry – DL-Methionine for Aquaculture™ (DLMA™). Study confirmed that by adding methionine in feed formulation, we can not only promote the growth of aquatic animals, but also effectively save on feed costs.

Save feed costs while achieving optimal growth effect

Do fish and shrimp feeds also need nutrition? The answer is yes. To obtain the heat required to maintain human body, human needs to take nutritional protein, fat and carbohydrates from the diet. The proportion of these nutrients, or the diet structure has an important impact on human health. The same applies to the growth of aquatic animals.

Protein intake to the growth of aquatic animals is definitely important, and amino acid is the main component of protein synthesis. Animals can synthesize amino acids with the exception of essential amino acids. These need to be provided through the feed to meet the animal’s requirement. If the feed has an unbalanced amino acid profile, animals will eat more and the feed conversion rate will increase. Hence, it results in a waste of feed, increased costs and heavier burden on the environment due to higher nitrogen emissions.

Evonik is the world’s leading supplier of feed grade amino acids. Evonik’s DLMA™ developed specifically for the aquaculture industry offers the right proportions of amino acid intake for aquatic animals, customizing reasonable feed formula without any increase in feed costs to make aquatic animals grow faster and better.

Compared with ordinary methionine products, Evonik’s DLMA™ for aquatic animals has finer particle size and enables greater degree of homogeneity in the feed. As such, the product suits to every diet size, even the smallest. The product can be added directly in the mixer, without any prior milling step.

Maintain biodiversity and protect natural resources

By adding methionine to aquatic feed, it can not only bring significant economic benefits, but also has extraordinary environmental benefits.

A part of the fish oil and fishmeal in animal feed is made from wild sea fishes. However, with the state of overfishing intensified in the world, some deep-sea species are already threatened with extinction. Fishermen in some areas also said that fishing has become increasingly difficult for them. By adding Evonik’s DLMA™ for aquatic animals to the feed, we can effectively reduce the share of fishmeal in feed formula, so as to help reduce overfishing and protect biodiversity.

By using Evonik’s DLMA™ for aquatic animals and customizing reasonable feed formula, we can provide balanced nutrients needed for the growth of aquatic animals. Compared with the use of low-protein diet, it saves the amount of feed and reduces nitrogen emissions from aquatic animals, in the end improves water quality and minimizes environmental pollution.

The technical director of Zhejiang Zhongda Group Co., Ltd., a long-term customer of Evonik thinks highly of Evonik’s aquatic methionine: “By using Evonik’s aquatic methionine and the recommended technology of replacing fishmeal with the amino acids, the Group is able to save a lot of fishmeal while ensuring the high quality of our fish feed products. This creates both economic and environmental benefits and greatly improves our core competence.”