Tuesday, February 14, 2017

15/02/2017: Prospect of functional feed for fish and shrimp

by Norwich International Company Tao Qingyan

Translated from the original Chinese language by Alex Whitebrook

As our trade visit to the Taiwanese market coincided with the Taiwan International Seafood and Fisheries Show, Norwich International Company were fortunate enough to attend the 2016 Taiwan Aquaculture Industry Trends Seminar

This was only the second time the show has been held, hosting around 200 exhibitors and 500 booths. The International Seafood and Fisheries Show is also the only event of its kind in Taiwan, showcasing the best of what the entire field of aquaculture has to offer.

Despite being relatively small compared to the fisheries exhibitions of the Chinese mainland, the show was large enough to display all of the latest developments related to the field of aquaculture. Moreover, the amount of time given for interaction and networking between attendants was exceptional.

Given the large capacity for aquaculture feed in the Taiwanese market, the number of feed exhibitors could certainly have been higher; however there was no shortage of highlights. For example, thanks to the excellent salesmanship and impressive display booth of the Grobest shrimp farming representatives, we remained standing at their booth for quite some time.

The frozen shrimp below is a commercial shrimp produced by Grobest feed farmers, whom produce about 6,000 kilograms of shrimp per year.

Through the use of Facebook, Grobest are able to sell their frozen shrimp products directly into the hands of consumers. Despite Grobest being a supplier with little involvement in the feed market, it actively promotes standards of health and nutrition in its products, through its customers, to consumers.

Within agricultural industries, the use of online sales models to connect directly with consumers is becoming increasingly popular, achieving impressive results. What more deeply impressed me, though, was Grobest’s virtuous devotion to ideas of health and nutrition as a complementary goal to their promotion of fish and shrimp products.

It was due to this impression that I remained at their booth, learning of the aims and requirements of their additional companies, feed mills, farmers and fast delivery to consumers. Whilst at the Taiwan International Seafood and Fisheries Show, we also saw the exclusive cell survival and freezing (CAS) technology Yongan biotechnology.

Using this technology, the taste and quality of seafood obtained through on-site fishing is preserved during the thawing process. The most immediate affects of this technology are the lack of seepage from the flesh, and the remaining integrity of the fish eyes during the thawing process.

Healthy Aquaculture
Many consumers believe that the safety of fished products will be higher than that of aquacultural products, but this is a big misunderstanding. Due to the widespread pollution of natural waters, increasing numbers of fish caught for consumption are being affected by heavy metals, pesticides and so on.

Modern farming is often more effective in providing healthy consumer products due to enhanced management of the environment, seed, and aquaculture processes. However, due to the poor management of individual practitioners, some concern for food safety has arisen and international trust of artificial aquaculture has consequentially been reduced.

With the development of the Internet economy, people want real contact with the farmers themselves, to see the breeding of animals and breeding environment, to hear about the breeding developments, and to better see whether farmers and their families consume their own products. The rise of this style of marketing is beneficial to our industry.

Through the use of Facebook, Grobest shrimp farmers are able to communicate with consumers about the entire shrimp farming process, adding value to the consumer experience by adding an intriguing human component.

While those farmers pursuing high-quality aquatic feed input and management of inputs are rewarded through consumer recognition and response to prices. If combined with the latest refrigeration technology, people may easily enjoy the fresh consumer products directly from the supplier.

High-quality demands
A Consumers are known to prefer their products to taste rich, be vibrantly coloured and appear visibly healthy. For shrimp, there are larger specifications, including the desire for complete legs and more transparent body colour.

In fact, from a nutrition and health point of view, these are the highest requirements of fish and shrimp products. Producing a richer flavour often requires a longer growing period to achieve the sufficient growth and fat deposits. More beautiful body colour or appearance relies on the quantity of carotene substances, especially astaxanthin deposits, whilst avoiding problems caused by surface parasites and bacteria.

Carotenoids are the most potent free radical scavengers. Within animals affected by any kind of stress or disease, organic free radical production will increase significantly, leading to the depletion of carotenoid substances, and resulting in poor body colour. Stricter specifications on consumer products allows for richer foods, dissolved oxygen and growth spaces.

Reducing aquaculture density is the most effective and simple means of increasing consumer product specifications, but at the same time leads to a decline in yields. Stricter specifications will also reduce animal susceptibility to disease and conflict over food or territory – issues directly related to high-density farming.

High concentrations of harmful bacteria within a body of water are directly related to more transparent body colour in aquatic animals. In response to this, Shrimp produce phenoloxidase for the defence of the body, also known as tyrosinase in humans, which catalyzes the formation of melanin tyrosine.

Phenol oxidase can be oxidized by phenol quinone, catalyzing the spontaneous formation of the final product - melanin. Melanin and its intermediaries are highly active substances in the defence response of fish, participating in a number of ways.

If wounded in any way, shrimp or other invertebrates become pigmented due to bacterial and parasitic infections. Therefore, transparent and shiny shrimp are not only desired for their beauty, but their condition is also indicative of a healthy breeding environment.

In order to achieve these high-quality consumer products, farmers must often reduce population density, increase water exchange rate and increase dissolved oxygen among other aquacultural techniques.

Concurrently, the nutritional value of feed becomes a focus for producers, rather than the usual focus on growth rate or feed coefficient as the most desired quality of the feed.

However, in the traditional channels of unified purchase and sales, it often becomes difficult to translate the value of these inputs so that they gain full recognition in the price of the final product.

Therefore, even as consumer demand for high-quality consumer products becomes increasingly strong, restrictions on sales channels often cause these demands to be ignored.

Fortunately, as new sales channels develop and consumption patterns change, those neglected demands and the ignored added value of nutritional input will eventually be recognised.

Read the original article HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
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