Date: 04/09/2023

The aquaculture industry has significantly growing over recent years, and the search for efficient nutritional solutions to improve growth, health and quality of the cultivated animals is a constant priority.

According to the , the fish production in Brazil has reached 860.355 tons, in accordance with the exclusive mapping performed by the Brazilian Pisciculture Association (Peixe BR) [1].

This data indicates a growth of 2,3% compared to 2021, when the country reached 841.005 tons.

Going in the same direction, the shrimp production is also growing. According to data given by the Brazilian Shrimp Growers Association (ABCC in Portuguese), Brazil produced 150 thousand tonnes of shrimps [2].

The raising in aquaculture production has a fundamental role in food safety, bearing in mind one of the last United Nations reports to Nutrition and Agriculture (FAO) [3] which point out a decline in the fishery of fishes and crustaceans.

Still according to FAO, aquaculture will be, until 2025, if proven the projections, the most growing farming activity in developing countries, especially in Brazil.

However, this intensification and growth of the production demands a bigger search for innovations to find enriched and balanced formulations that can offer maximum performance to the animals.

That way, two questions need to be answered to supply this challenge: the first one is finding an ingredient that, besides being nutritive, is safe and beneficial for the species.

The other one, which is a crucial matter to the producers, is combining a formulation that offers performance and a better value for money, with a high food conversion.

It is worth pointing out that the investment in animal nutrition represents the biggest part of the breeders budget, around 70% of all costs.

In this context the hydrolyzed proteins are being highlighted as a promising alternative in fishes and crustaceans feeding.

That’s because the traditional ingredient used as food to aquatic species is fishmeal which, besides being more expensive, is scarce and leaves more remains in the bottom of the tanks.

That said, hydrolyzed proteins, such as BioActio Health & Performance and BioActio Efficiency, from BRF Ingredients Animal Nutrition portfolio, are alternatives with scientifically proven results.

These ingredients result from an innovation and technology process, through enzymatic hydrolysis, that breaks the proteins into smaller pieces, forming the bioactive peptides, whose benefits and advantages we’ll approach along this blog post.

Feeding and Nutritional Demands of Shrimps and Fishes.

The nutrition of shrimps is one of the biggest challenges in shrimp farming, due to the nutritional demands of the crustaceans species cultivated and the needs related to the factors of appeal and palatability of the food.

These elements are essential to any species diet, specially in crustaceans nutrition, since besides providing quality and supplying nutritional and metabolic requirements, it should contribute to a better quality of the crop water.

For this reason, the lack of appeal and palatability of a formulation involves two questions.

Supposing that the diet is rejected by part of the crustaceans, the nutrients consume is reduced, which will cause, as a consequence, the nutritional deficiency and, therefore, damage to the species growth and loss to the producer.

In this matter, the food residues in the bottom of the tanks, which worsens the quality of the water, generates complications to the breeding, such as the declining survival rate and raising of diseases that undermine the shrimps’ immune system.

Due to these problems, the challenge of shrimp farming, with the exponential growth of its production in Brazil, is to find an ingredient that offers high palatability, supplies the needs and promotes metabolic improvements.

Consequently, the hydrolyzed proteins of BRF Ingredients, such as BioActio Health & Performance and BioActio Efficiency, emerges in the shrimp diet.

Before the advantages of these ingredients, however, it is important to understand the requirements and nutritional demands of the crustaceans, that depend, in their biologic composition, of proteins in large quantity and quality.

As indicated by Soares (2019, p. 16): “In shrimp nutrition, a proteic source of quality is demanded to provide a good zootechnical performance, since the protein is continuously used by animals for growth and tissue reparation, constituting till 70% of the dry weight of a shrimp”.

It is worth highlighting that the protein plays other important roles in the animal's organism, such as hormonal, enzymatic and defense functions [4]. Furthermore, fishes and shrimps also tend to use protein as an energy source.

That happens because the aquatic food chain presents a lack of carbs and abundance of lipids and proteins, raising the animal needs of the last one [4].

For this reason, including an ingredient rich in bioactive peptides and with a high apparent digestibility coefficient (CDA) of the raw protein is elementar for a precise and specific diet of fishes and shrimps.

For that matter, the BioActio portfolio, with the BioActio Health & Performance and BioActio Efficiency formulations, provides a rate of 92,99% of proteins for shrimps and 94% for fishes.

In this direction, nutrition is a primordial factor in aquaculture production and, specifically, in pisciculture production, is directly related to growth, health and quality of the animals, in order to guarantee a better income and profit to the production [5].

Nutrition to aquaculture should present a balanced nutritional composition, attractive to animals, taking into consideration the level of proteins, lipids and amino acids.

That said, what are the main nutritional demands of fishes and shrimps?

  • Protein: as seen before, shrimps has a high demand for protein in their diet, usually variating around 70%;
  • Lipids: provides energy and essential fatty acids. However, the amount of fat in the diet varies according to the phase and the growing environment, estimated between 5% and 15%;
  • Carbs: in production animals, are an additional source of energy. In the case of shrimps, is indicated to use low quantities;
  • Vitamins and Minerals: vitamins, such as the C type, are important to strengthen the immune system of the shrimps, while the minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, are essential for the growth and health in general.

Besides, it should be considered the presence of essential amino acids, that are building blocks of proteins, since the shrimps can’t synthesize them in appropriate amounts.

The fishes’ nutritional needs resemble the shrimps’ and basically all the aquaculture production, but with a few particularities that need to consider the nutrient amounts.

  • Protein: crucial to growth and the maintenance of the tissues in fishes, varying the amount according to phase, size and environment;
  • Lipids: provide energy and collaborate to the absorption of vitamins and cellular function. The amount of fat in the diet can vary between 5% and 20%.
  • Carbs: fishes can use carbs as a source of energy, but in a small amount comparing to shrimps;
  • Vitamins e Minerals: vitamins in general, including D, are important to the bones health and to the immune system, while minerals (zinc and selenium) regulate metabolic processes, protect cells and affect growth;
  • Fatty Acids Omega-3: essential to cardiovascular health, brain growth and immune function.

And what are the benefits of the BioActio portfolio in aqua nutrition?

The answer to supply the nutritional and metabolic demands of aquatic species, as well as provide a better value for money to the producers, is including BioActio Health & Performance and BioActio Efficiency in fishes and shrimps diet.

While BioActio Health & Performance is produced from chicken byproducts, BioActio Efficiency’s raw materials are the feathers of these animals.

Originating from the BRF integrated production chain, these supplies go through a innovation and technology process which adds value to the raw materials and originate the BRF Ingredients formulations, rich in bioactive peptides.

By giving a new meaning to the the use of byproducts, BRF Ingredients remove from the environment over 13 million tons of highly nutritious supplies, which would be disposed and would increase the volume in the sanitary landfills, harming the soil and the aquifers.

The BioActio Portfolio can be applied in the aquaculture, pig farming and pet industries. In the particular benefits to fishes and shrimps feeding, stand out:


  • ● Raising in the filet incoming;
  • ● High appeal and digestibility;
  • ● Improvement in weight and food conversion;
  • ● Raising of the survival rate in the initial phases./li>


  • ● Immune improvement;
  • ● High appeal
  • ● Raising in the survival rate in challenging environments;
  • ● Improvement in zootechnical rate.

The results of BioActio Efficiency and BioActio Health & Performance are scientifically proven. The ingredients promote an efficient nutrition, delivering performance and value for money, and provide maximum performance and health, respectively.


In conclusion, animal aqua nutrition has specific requirements and should be suppressed with an ingredient that not only meet fishes and shrimps nutritional demands, but also offers rentability and promotes sustainability.

As seen in this article, BioActio portfolio meets all of these needs, providing a series of meaningful benefits in fishes and crustaceous feeding.

Since the digestibility improvement until the immune system reinforcement and the environmental impact reduction, BioActio Efficiency and BioActio Health & Performance offer a precise and specific animal nutritional.

Finally, as aquaculture continues to play a vital and bigger role in global food safety, ingredients like the ones in the BioActio portfolio, by BRF Ingredients, are essential to guarantee a sustainable, efficient and high income production.


[1] Peixe BR. Anuário 2023 Peixe BR da Piscicultura, 2023, pp:128. Available at: Access: August 2023.

[2] Associação Brasileira de Criadores de Camarão. Revista da ABCC, Edição Agosto: ano XXV, nº 2, agosto de 2023. Available at: Access: August 2023.

[3] Organização das Nações Unidas para a Alimentação e Agricultura (FAO). The impact of COVID-19 on fisheries and aquaculture food systems; Possible responses Information. Paper, November 2020. Available at: The impact of COVID-19 on fisheries and aquaculture food systems, possible responses: Information paper, November 2020 ( Access: August 2023.

[4] SOARES, M. Avaliação de hidrolisados proteicos de subprodutos de frango e suíno na nutrição do camarão-branco-do-pacífico. Tese (Doutorado em Aquicultura) – Centro de Ciências Agrárias da Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. Florianópolis, pp. 99. 2019. Available at: August 2023.

[5] Nutrinews. Hidrolisado proteico: uma alternativa para a nutrição de peixes. Available at: Access: August 2023.

[6] Embrapa. Nutrição e alimentação de peixes. Available at: 20140806 - Livro Piscicultura de Agua Doce.indd ( Access: August 2023.

[7] Impactos da mancha branca nos custos de produção do camarão no Nordeste. Available at: Infoteca-e: Impactos da mancha branca nos custos de produção do camarão no Nordeste. ( Access: August 2023.

[8] BRF Ingredients. Como a Palatabilidade das Rações Influencia na Carcinicultura. Available at: Como a Palatabilidade das Rações Influencia na Carcinicultura - BRF Ingredients. Access: August 2023.

[9] Fontes de proteína na Nutrição Animal: usos e tendências. Available at: Fontes de proteína na Nutrição Animal: usos e tendências - BRF Ingredients. Access: August 2023.

[10] Aminoácidos essenciais para aquicultura: performance & dieta. Available at: Aminoácidos essenciais para aquicultura: performance & dieta - BRF Ingredients. Access: August 2023.