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Evonik’s new plant to produce new methionine source

Evonik has opened a new plant in Antwerp, Belgium, to produce a new methionine source for shrimp and other crustaceans.


Evonik has opened a new plant in Antwerp, Belgium, to produce a new methionine source for shrimp and other crustaceans.

The company plans to launch the new product, AQUAVI Met-Met, this summer as an aquaculture feed additive. AQUAVI Met-Met is a dipeptide of two DL-methionine molecules.

“AQUAVI Met-Met allows the aqua industry to reduce the inclusion of marine ingredients from 20 percent to less than 5 percent in shrimp diets,” an Evonik spokesman told WATTAgNet in an email. “With AQUAVI Met-Met, the production of crustacea can be performed more efficiently, at minimized costs and with a very low environmental impact.”

Evonik specifically developed AQUAVI Met-Met for shrimp and crustaceans because they have different feeding habits and digestive systems than fish. The product is significantly less water soluble than DL-methionine and does not leach out of the feed as easily. In the digestive tract of shrimp, the dipeptide breaks down and methionine becomes available for protein synthesis at exactly the right time.

“AQUAVI Met-Met saves more than 5 percent of the total cost of the feed when fishmeal is reduced by half. The product is at least twice as efficient as the next best alternative (DL-methionine),” the Evonik spokesman told WATT. “When shrimp grow better, the production cycle is shorter, reducing the exposure to diseases and maximizing revenues for the shrimp farmers.”

Use of fishmeal as a protein source is a significant cost factor for farmers, and supplementation with amino acids allows significant reduction of the proportion of fishmeal in feeds. Feeding trials in many countries have shown that 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.

Growing demand for fish, shrimp

According to Evonik, at least half of the fish, crustaceans and shellfish consumed globally in 2015 originated from aquaculture. 

“The demand for fish and shrimp is growing at a fast pace thanks to the expansion of the world population and increasing income,” Evonik’s spokesman said. “The wild capture of fish and shrimp has been stagnating at around 90 million metric tons per year for more than 25 years. Hence, aquaculture is the only lever we have for coping with the growing demand.”

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