Day 2: 13 Nov 2019 - 3:00 – 3:20 PM
Every few years, we see a plunge in global farmed shrimp output due to disease outbreaks. The question remains: is this oscillation in global shrimp production natural? Unfortunately, it is not. Stress factors such as the overwhelming presence of pathogenic microbes, high density or high standing biomass, inadequate nutrition, and environmental challenges induce frequent bouts of various viral and bacterial diseases.
There are numerous feed additives with specific functional properties to deal with the aforementioned stress factors. Most of them are effective. However, determining the choice of these feed additives is as difficult as finding a needle in a stack of hay. For any additive to perform to its fullest, specific conditions are essential and often a combination of additives is more useful than a single one to combat complex situations.
The term “Functional Feed” can be defined as feed that serves a specific purpose beyond the basic nutritional requirement to promote health and stress resistance of the animals. A wide range of feed additives can be used. Additives that promote nutrient digestibility by hydrolysing complex proteins or carbohydrates or by counteracting negative effects of antinutrients are becoming increasingly common. Other additives such as probiotics, prebiotics, phytogenics and immuno-stimulants or immune modulating agents are also increasingly being used in aquafeed.
Despite wide choice and use of additives, development of functional feed is still in its infancy and may need special attention for sustainable development of aquaculture. This paper will discuss the potential and pitfalls of the concept of functional feed additives, functional feed and their development to promote a healthy industry.