Chemicals giant Evonik has inaugurated the world's first plant for the production of a new source of methionine specifically for shrimp and other crustaceans.
The product, sold under the name AQUAVI® Met-Met, is an aquaculture feed additive to make shrimp farming more efficient and sustainable. The plant's modular design allows for increasing production capacity in order to meet customer demand, Evonik said in a press release.
"With AQUAVI® Met-Met, we are launching another product for healthy and sustainable animal nutrition. Based on our scientific and technological expertise, we have developed a product innovation that we can now offer to our customers worldwide," said Dr. Reiner Beste, chairman of the board of management of Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH, at the inauguration ceremony.
Since shrimp farming is concentrated in warmer seas close to the equator, the main markets for AQUAVI® Met-Met are located in Asia as well as in South and Central America. Evonik said it has begun to supply customers from these regions with the new product as the plant is ramped up to capacity.
We are pleased that Evonik built the first production facility for AQUAVI® Met-Met in Antwerp," said Frank Daman, Evonik site manager in Antwerp. "The new plant affirms our site's key position in Evonik's global production network for methionine." The Antwerp site, with its harbor, is seen as an ideal hub for shipping the product to customers worldwide.
AQUAVI® Met-Met is produced in conjunction with an existing methionine plant in a fully backward-integrated process. Evonik said the environmentally friendly production process is water-based and uses no organic solvents.
AQUAVI® Met-Met, a dipeptide made up of two DL-methionine molecules, achieves the same weight increase in shrimp and crustaceans as conventional methionine sources, but uses only half the active substance. "This is mainly due to the fact that the dipeptide must be enzymatically broken down in the digestive system of the shrimp and is therefore available for protein synthesis at the right time. That in turn means that a higher share can be processed", Evonik said. In addition, AQUAVI® Met-Met is considerably less water-soluble than other methionine sources and therefore does not leach out of feed as quickly. This relieves the burden on the water.
Evonik has over 60 years of experience in the manufacture of essential amino acids and their derivatives.