Global feed player Kemin forms aquaculture business unit

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Aquafeed producers take heed — a new player is at hand after global ingredients maker, Kemin, on Wednesday announced it was starting a new aquaculture division and brand called, AquaKulture.

The company chose the Taipei Aquaculture Society Symposium in Taiwan to make the announcement rather than the Brussels Seafood Expo, as its target market is largely upstream. The 50-year-old company based in Iowa makes products that help fish appetites and growth including an “anti-bacterial” fish-gut acidifier made of organic acids and essentials oils; a modified lecithin product for fish lipid storage and antioxidants to keep aquafeed from going bad.

“When oxidation occurs, a series of irreversible chemical reactions negatively impact aqua feed quality and an animal’s health and performance,” a statement from group President G.S. Ramesh said.

“Additionally, aqua feed is highly susceptible to microbial spoilage, including moulds and bacteria, because their formulations are rich in proteins and other essential nutrients.”

Antioxidants
The company has long made natural and synthetic antioxidants for human food, pet food and animal feed. Now, it’ll focus on aquaculture with a modified lecithin product “that works during the different stages of lipid digestion to optimize aquatic species’ utilization of dietary fats, resulting in better body weight gain and optimized feed conversion ratio”.

“Applying Kemin’s pioneering animal nutrition and health products to the aquaculture industry, the new business unit will help aquafeed companies, aqua-farms and fishmeal producers raise the healthiest aqua species with better growth, uniformity and economic returns,” the company’s Facebook page said.

Global reach
The privately-held, family-owned and operated company with more than 2,500 employees globally and operations in 90 countries wields manufacturing facilities in Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and the United States. The company has sales in 120 countries.

“The industry is expected to grow rapidly. For these reasons and a variety of others, we decided to make AquaKulture its own business unit,” Ramesh said.

The company aims to offer “a portfolio of programs” to “help aquafeed companies, aqua farms and fish meal producers raise the healthiest aqua species with better growth, uniformity and economic returns”.