For several years, there has been a strong growth in the Latin American shrimp market, mainly in Ecuador but also in Mexico, Honduras and Peru. Along with the cultivation of shrimp farming farms, the professionalization needs of the sector are growing rapidly throughout the entire productive chain of the Industry.
Competition is becoming more intense, so farms need to produce more shrimp with less food. How to face this challenge? Carefully monitoring the FCR (Feed Conversion Ratio). This index, well known by the actors in the field, makes the relationship between the food provided to the animal and its increase in body mass. The lower the FCR index, the higher the profitability of the farm.
But what are the main criteria to take care of to make sure you have good food, and therefore a low FCR on farms?
It is the first criterion, a shrimp feed that is not dense enough will not sink. And a food that does not sink is a food for seagulls. A higher density of the food facilitates the breakdown of the surface layer of the water, in addition to generating a higher sinking speed and less losses (by birds, wind, etc.).
Clextral is a French company that designs and manufactures Double Screw Extruders for the Food for Human & Animals industry. 10 years ago, Clextral developed a degassing system, allowing steam to be removed from the dough during the extrusion process. By generating a vacuum, this system allows the extruded food to be 100% collapsible with densities up to 750 g / L.
2) Physical Characteristics
Farm professionals are also monitoring feed stability, both dry and in water after a few hours. The fines that come off the dry food between its elaboration and its use are wasted waste. Additionally, once in the water, the food has to be leached slowly to allow the shrimp to have the necessary time for its consumption. For farms, the loss is double: each percentage of the food that is not consumed, is increasing the contamination of the ponds and with it the development of diseases and maintenance costs.
Thanks to its macro and micro-mixing capabilities, the Clextral Double Screw technology gives an excellent and uniform cooking of the extruded food. This quality of cooking achieved in the extruder, allows to increase the level of gelatinization of the starches in the recipe. Being directly related to food stability, gelatinized starches provide ideal leaching of the extrudate, thereby minimizing waste.
3) Nutritional Characteristics
Every year, shrimp feed producers face a double challenge: using lower-cost raw materials and maximizing feed efficiency. A good food must not only meet nutritional requirements, but also be reasonably priced for farms, using lower-cost ingredients. It is known that approximately 80 to 85% of the price of food corresponds to the cost of the raw material. Therefore, it is a top priority to have flexible technologies that achieve high levels of cooking. Ensuring good digestibility of feed with increasingly demanding raw materials is the current challenge for the shrimp industry.
Always hand in hand with the major players in aquaculture, Clextral has a highly flexible technology capable of meeting the quality demands of the market. Currently, fish by-products such as flour and oil are being used less by industry, which is replacing them with other plant sources. The Clextral extruder is designed to maximize the denaturation of plant proteins, and therefore their digestibility once consumed by the animal.
The density and the physical and nutritional qualities of the food are the 3 fundamental factors to achieve a good food, a profitable FCR and, as a result, a rapid growth of the shrimp.
The global shrimp industry appears to be taking the same path as the salmon industry, increasingly professionalizing and targeting more advanced and automated technologies. Both industries began to produce feed by pelletizing, a technology widely recognized and used in the world of animal feed. About 10 years ago with the arrival of extrusion in the shrimp industry, it was possible to start expanding the possibilities of using raw materials.
With the demands of the market, there is no doubt that twin-screw extrusion technology is the future of Latin American plants that want to catch up with their Asian competitors.
Since its inception in 1956, the Clextral company focused solely on twin-screw extrusion, to become a world-renowned expert. To learn more about the benefits of technology, do not hesitate to contact us. Below is a graph identifying how food characteristics influence the Feed Conversion Ratio.