Astrakhan scientists developed innovative feed for crayfish and shrimp

March 4, 2021 10:53

Astrakhan scientists developed new compound aquafeeds containing a natural attractant - glasswort (Salicornia genus) that grows in the region, reports

According to Astrakhan State Technical University, the nation’s aquaculture sector faces a noticeable shortage of domestically produced mixed feeds to develop the commercial culture of new species. The high quality imported feeds available on the Russian market are too expensive, and their formulas remain undisclosed to protect the know-how and discourage production of analogues. Actually, it is no surprise as the development of effective feeds takes much time and money.

In addition, fish farmers seeking to switch to environmentally friendly, "organic" production, face a bigger challenge - stricter requirements to feeds, i.e. they should not contain synthetic substances, hormones or stimulants, and the content of fishmeal should be low (10% instead of 40-50%).

Therefore, the cooperation of Astrakhan State Technical University, Astrakhan State Medical University and the Soleros technology company is the first step in solving this problem. As part of the joint experimental work, since 2019, the researchers have been developing a line of aquaculture feeds based on alternative protein sources (other than fishmeal) with a natural additive (attractant) – the Salicornia plant, which improves the taste and palatability of the feed.

To replace fishmeal in feed, it is not only necessary to find a natural and eco-friendly alternative that will adequately maintain the physiologically important functions of aquatic organisms. The alternative component should also taste good for fish in order to minimize potential feed losses.

In a series of trials conducted on the basis of the Aquaculture and Fisheries Department of the Technical University, new feed formulas have already been tested on crustaceans (Australian red claw crayfish and freshwater shrimp), and the researchers from the Medical University have analyzed the referral values of homeostasis of the tested objects.

It turned out that inclusion of glasswort into the diet of crayfish and shrimps had a positive effect: increased feed consumption and growth rate and reduced feed waste during the period of adaptation to artificial conditions.

The developers plan to protect their new compound feed formulas for crustaceans with a patent of invention. Further development of mixed feeds with grasswort, this time for sturgeon, is planned for the spring of 2021.

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