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.