Respond to the challenges of aquaculture with amino acid-based solutions and butyrate
On the aquaculture market, feeds account for a major part of the financial and environmental cost of aqua species production. Optimizing nutrition is an efficient lever to answer the main problematics faced by this market. Indeed, nutrition and specific feed formulation can help to improve performance (feed efficiency, fish homogeneity, product quality), health and welfare (gut health, reduction of mortality) and sustainability (reduction of ammonia excretion, reduction of carbon footprint, reduction of antibiotics use, use of alternatives to fish meal and fish oil, use of local and circular resources). In this context, amino acids and butyrate supplementation is of high interest.
Balance amino acid intake in fish and shrimp diets
To sustain their metabolism, to cover their requirement for indispensable amino acids and for energy, aquatic animals require a high intake of crude protein.
It is important to consider amino acids individually when formulating feeds for aquaculture. This method helps meeting the requirements for these indispensable nutrients. In turn, diets balanced in amino acids improves nitrogen efficiency and retention and decrease its excretion in the form of ammonia. This can be of high interest in animals living in high densities in the ponds as high concentrations of ammonia can threaten their health and the surrounding environment.
Support the development of fish meal substitutes
Substituting fish meals in fish and shrimp nutrition is fundamental to improve the sustainability of the aquaculture sector.
The use of fish meal in aquafeeds exerts a huge pressure on marine resources. Fish meal substitutes include alternative ingredients such as vegetable proteins or other innovative sources such as proteins from unicellular organisms (bacteria, yeast, etc) or insect proteins. These protein sources can be complemented with feed-grade amino acids to fulfill the requirements of aqua species.
Mitigate aggressive behavior in aqua species
Aggressive behavior is a major issue in aquaculture as it can reduce performance, impair welfare, and induce mortality.
Aquatic species often display aggressive behavior against other fish. The erritory owner strikes at competing fish directly ending in a bite, or a bump. Tryptophan which, as a precursor of serotonin, is one of the amino acids that can contribute to reduce circulating cortisol, aggressive behavior, and cannibalism in aquatic species. Indeed, serotonin acts through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and controls osmoregulatory, hematological, immunological, and behavioral responses.
Develop nutritional strategies to mitigate salmon cataracts
Cataracts widely affect salmons, decreasing their welfare and their ability to feed themselves correctly.
Cataract is an opacification of the lens frequently affecting fish species. It is often irreversible and leads to loss of growth performance and to higher risk of secondary disease problems. Cataracts also represent an ethical problem for the aquaculture industry as it impairs welfare of fish. Amino acids play a beneficial role in the ocular health of salmon. A balanced intake in histidine, a precursor of N-acetyl-Histidine (NAH), guarantees protection of the ocular lens and an antioxidant action that participates in decreasing the occurrence of cataracts.
Contribute to gut health and immunocompetence in aqua species
The digestive system of fish and shrimp is subject to many challenges that can negatively impact feed efficiency, performance and overall productivity.
The importance of gut health and immunocompetence in aquaculture is widely recognized. Improving these parameters may be a good way to reduce antibiotic use while improving performance and welfare. Studies have shown that supplementing certain amino acids such as threonine (precursor of mucins), tryptophan (precursor of serotonin and kynurenine), glutamine (source of energy for immune and gut cells) but also the short-chain fatty acid butyrate (source of energy for intestinal cells) may contribute to positive effects on immunity and intestinal barrier function of aquatic species, thus improving their resilience when facing challenges.