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USGC looks to increase DDGS demand in SE Asia aquafeed

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) aims to increase demand for U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in the aquafeed industry in Southeast Asia.

Metthapaul |

Several research projects explore economic, nutritional advantages of using DDGS for shrimp, tilapia feed

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) aims to increase demand for U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in the aquafeed industry in Southeast Asia.

The USGC says it has participated in a series of research projects that demonstrate the economic and nutritional advantages of using DDGS in feed for shrimp and tilapia. According to the USGC’s website, in 2019, 6.5 million tons of tilapia and 3.8 million tons of shrimp were produced globally.

“DDGS show very good value in least cost formulation programs as a feed ingredient for lower crude protein feeds such as tilapia,” said Ronnie Tan, USGC aquaculture consultant in Southeast Asia. “Factors including xanthophyll and phosphorus availability also may make DDGS attractive to higher-value species like shrimp.”

To fill the existing knowledge gap for DDGS use in aquafeed, the USGC started exploring markets in Southeast Asia for potential research partners. Indonesia was identified as a key target market due to current aquafeed demand of 1.8 million tons annually and aggressive domestic policy seeking to reduce dependence on wild caught fish.

“The major constraint to DDGS use in aqua is not fear of trying, but the general unsureness of maximum allowable levels,” said Caleb Wurth, USGC assistant director of Southeast Asia. “Without this data, it would be unfeasible for us to consult and promote DDGS for aquafeed.”

USGC has partnered with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Republic of Indonesia (MMAF) to examine the utility of DDGS in feeding the shrimp L. vannamei under Indonesian conditions. The first feeding trial began in early September. In addition to this public partnership, USGC is simultaneously conducting private research with large, integrated industry partners in the region.

USGC is also working to study the value of high-protein DDGS for these specific nutritional programs. These new specialized DDGS products offer high digestibility, which adds value specifically for shrimp, Asian seabass and grouper species.

“The accumulation of this data will help DDGS inclusion levels rise to their potential in aquafeed,” Wurth said. “As consumer trends evolve, so do USGC programs to meet this shifting demand. Farmed aquaculture will be a major low-cost protein source for the future, and DDGS inclusion will help drive this industry forward.”

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that, by 2030, total aquaculture production will reach 201 million metric tons (mmt). Of all aquafeed production, approximately 31% is used for carp production; the other largest species groups are tilapia (17%), shrimp (15%), catfish (11%) and salmon (7%), according to the FAO’s estimates. China is the global leader in aquaculture production.

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