European and therefore Spanish legislation is reviewing maximum content limits and intensifying the control of certain undesirable substances in food, to increase and improve the food safety of the products we consume.
One of the substances that is being focused on is PFA’s (PerFluoroAlquilated substances). Clear examples of this interest are Recommendation (EU) 2022/1431 of the commission of August 24, 2022 on the monitoring of perfluoroalkyl substances in food (http://data.europa.eu/eli/reco/2022/1431/oj),
Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/2388 of December 7, 2022 amending Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 with regard to the maximum content of perfluoroalkyl substances in certain food products (http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg/2022/2388/oj)
and in Spanish legislation with Royal Decree 3/2023, of January 10, which establishes the technical-sanitary criteria for the quality of drinking water, its control and supply (https://www.boe.es/eli/es/rd/2023/01/10/3).
At Dibaq, aware of the importance and awareness that our clients have of their products in the eyes of final consumers, people, we want to help them control this emerging risk. For this reason, and although it is not applicable to animal feed, we anticipate and have implemented a PFA control plan in our food risk management. In order to eliminate animal feed as one of the risk sources of PFA’s in their products.
It´s said that what doesn’t excite doesn’t work. And from Dibaq Aquaculture we have very excitedly launched a new line of floating products for salmonids within our range of premium AquaSafe products. It is a complete, effective, studied and proven update of this range of products.
Our extensive experience in this sector, in which we have been helping our clients to produce excellent quality fish with great performance for more than 35 years, has allowed us to obtain a range of products for salmonids optimized in macro and micronutrient detail to achieve excellent production parameters.
All the formulas of these products use top-quality raw materials, with high levels of EPA and DHA and high ratios of omega-3 and long-chain fatty acids, so important for these species. Without forgetting sustainability, since these products have terrestrial animal proteins selected especially for these species due to their high digestibility and micronutrient composition, although there is the possibility of obtaining these products only with raw materials of marine origin, according to the preferences of our clients.
In order to cover each and every one of the requirements of these species, in addition to the optimal selection of raw materials, we have formulated these products with a high percentage of organic minerals and vitamins, making their bioavailability greater. In addition, the entire range is part of our premium AquaSafe products, not only because of what has been said above, but also because we have focused on the highest possible intestinal health, through compounds such as lysophospholipids, butyrates, monoglycerides, etc. This promotes adequate intestinal health that translates into greater absorbance and use of nutrients, as well as proper immunity.
The Solution T product line is divided into medium and high energy products, wich our customers can select, and is as follows:
Currently there is a tendency to intensify production processes and aquaculture is no exception. However, sometimes there are various structural limitations that prevent the increase in production units, so there is a tendency to modernize the cultivation processes while maintaining the same production units in order to achieve greater production.
This leads to demanding the maximum from the cultivation systems, such as, for example, sometimes reaching the limits of biomass loads for each of the systems, a fact that in turn affects the increase in water quality parameters that they are not adequate, leading to the detriment, the increase of the load per m3 and therefore the friction of animals against each other, increasing oxygen consumption, stress in animals and the most frequent appearance of pathologies. As a measure to solve these drawbacks, oxygenation systems tend to be improved or increased, but this would only be one of the steps to be taken in order to obtain good production volumes.
At Dibaq Aquaculture we are aware of the importance of high-quality food for our fish and shrimp. For us, it is an objective to find a well-balanced food for each of the species and in each of its productive stages, which generates the minimum waste and meets its nutritional requirements, also giving an extra contribution of organic vitamins and minerals to improve all the physiological processes and that the fish are prepared for any adversity.
In addition, it is very important that the raw materials that make up the products we offer our customers meet sustainability standards. This is where vegetable-based meals come in as partial substitutes for fish meals that are becoming increasingly scarce and their prices are always rising, thus contributing to the sustainability of our planet without creating so much dependence on the increasingly limited raw materials of fishing origin.
Within the group of plant-based flours, one of the most important is soybean, due to its high protein and amino acid content, but other factors must be considered with this raw material, for example, the amount of anti-nutritional factors that it has, among which oligosaccharides, saponins, etc. can be mentioned. On the other hand, it also contains phytic acid that decreases the bioavailability of essential minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium, essential in fish. Faced with these problems, there is the alternative of using fermented soybeans, since the fermentation process largely eliminates anti-nutritional substances. In turn, the fermentative process generates a series of short-chain organic acids such as butyric, valeric, acetic or formic acid.
These organic acids can help create certain inhibition halos against some pathogenic strains, such as Vibrio spp., which helps us to strengthen the immune system of our fish. As a result of our constant innovation and improvement work, at Dibaq Aquaculture R+D+I test are being carried out with the use of this ferment and a combination of other natural additives to seek an improvement in the performance and immune system of fish and farmed shrimp, in order to help the fish farmer to improve his productivity as much as possible.
A common goal in a short term in modern Aquaculture is to reduce the use of fish meal as a main ingredient on fish nutrition trying to find more sustainable ingredients, environmentally friendly, natural resource and with the aim to report several benefits on growth, immunity besides other benefits to the fish.
As a result of this global search, there are several ingredients that are being tested to replace part of the fish meal used on fish feed (seaweed, insect meal, etc.) but the ones that are showing better results are Fermented Vegetable Proteins (mainly fermented of some legumes).
Raw or not treated meal from these legumes have some anti-nutritional factors that can have negative effects not only in performance but also on fish health. Microbial fermentation is commonly used to avoid these negative effects and, also, to have other benefits as improving nutrient assimilation and palatability.
Recent research (Qin Zhang et al., 2023) carried out in Juvenile Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) shows that diets replaced 10% fish meal protein with fermented vegetable meal protein improve nutritional performance, with better growth rates and a significant improvement of antioxidant and immunity capacity of the juveniles.
DIBAQ, as a company absolutely concern on how the R&D can help to improve its products and carry out new projects and new developments, does not stay out of this progress. That’s why DIBAQ has recently started several projects with the aim to first hand analyse the effects of introducing fermented vegetables protein at different replacement of fish meal levels, on diets of some important commercial Mediterranean species.
Mullet (Mugil cephalus) is a highly valued fish throughout the Mediterranean area, especially for its roe, which is marketed as a substitute for caviar or as botarga, although interest in its fresh consumption has also increased recently. Likewise, its cultivation would be more acceptable to an increasingly aware consuming public that demands sustainability and less environmental impact. Apart from the Mediterranean area, the species is very promising in Korea where it is highly appreciated at a culinary level.
Given the growing interest in this species, Grupo Dibaq, the Spanish manufacturer of feed for aquaculture, is developing a specific food for the species, both in the fingerling and fattening phases. New developments, as usual, will be backed by Dibaq’s experience in new foods for species of growing interest.
This species, which easily adapts to breeding in nurseries, could be incorporated in the near future into the Spanish catalog of fish species, since it is part of projects such as Diversify, at the same time that the FAO sees it as a promising protein source.
At Dibaq Aquaculture, when we design a product for a specific aquaculture species, in a specific phase of its life cycle, in addition to trying to ensure that the analytical constituents related to macronutrients are balanced and appropriate for that case. We also take into account the micronutrients that we include and in this sense there are basically 2 types to which we pay special attention in formulation: vitamins and trace minerals.
Vitamins are essential organic compounds for life in trace amounts, involved in the normal growth, reproduction and health of the fish and their deficiency leads to the development by the fish of serious symptoms depending on the lacking vitamin in question and the reserves it has.
The contribution of vitamins in a fish feed can have two origins: the contribution of the raw materials included in the feed, or the addition of vitamin complements. The necessary amounts of these micronutrients are very small, with doses of micrograms or a few milligrams per day, and it is important that the vitamin added to the feed has the physical characteristics that allow its optimal distribution in it, in such a way that all pellets contain the appropriate dose of this micronutrient. It’s not common.
Today that fish fed with compound feed present symptoms of vitamin deficiencies, this is mainly due to the fact that when formulating a product for an aquaculture species, in addition to taking into account the nutritional requirement of the species regarding this vitamin, we know the environmental conditions to which the food will be subjected and its evolution throughout its life cycle, and therefore we formulate, also taking into account these variables, adjusting the doses of these micronutrients when necessary.
On the other hand, within the micronutrients, we have minerals, which are also essential chemical elements for a normal metabolic developing. We know that there are interactions between some of the mineral elements that can affect their absorption, metabolism, and effect, therefore, at Dibaq Aquaculture, when we design a feed, the inclusion of minerals must meet the fish’s requirements, and also take care of the balance of this, related to the rest of the nutrients present in the diet, which means, we value the levels of minerals in the diet always in relation to other components of the mentioned feed, with the aim of achieving the optimal nutritional balance.
Thanks to this way of working, at Dibaq Aquaculture, we guarantee optimal vitamin and mineral nutrition in each species and stage of the fish, something which is essential for an efficient, responsible, and sustainable aquaculture production.
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