First discovered in sugar beet juice, natural betaine occurs in plants, animals, marine invertebrates, and microorganisms, mainly to cope with salt and temperature stress.
As a multifunctional nutrient supporting important metabolic functions, it has long been used in the animal nutrition space as a methionine- and choline-sparing tool, but it is increasingly being recognized for other benefits, for multi-species applications including aquaculture.
Betaine is traditionally used in the farmed fish feed as an osmolyte, to protect the fish when moving from low to high salinity. Scientific evidence shows that natural betaine could be effective to improve growth performance and immunity in shrimps and this would support the sustainability of the shrimp industry further.
As the shrimp production is globally an increasing sector, we recently tested our natural betaine product also in shrimp, more exactly in whiteleg shrimp (Penaeus vannamei).
Two subsequent feeding studies with whiteleg shrimp were initiated by Dr. Wolfgang Koppe with astonishing results. One trial was performed in Iceland and the second one in Thailand. In both trials Actibeet® increased the growth performance significantly in a dose-dependent manner, at higher percentage in large shrimp and at lower in small shrimp, improved the feed efficiency significantly, showing 20% better FCR and increased the survival rate by 16%. Furthermore, histological examination of the intestine showed the development of better absorptive capacity and reduced the total count of Vibrio bacteria, which explains the increased survival rate under non-challenged conditions. In the Hepatopancreas it led to more lipid accumulating cells, which indicates a positive energy status. These effects are unexpected and further work is initiated.
Betaine has proven to act as a real multifunctional nutrient in different ways in different livestock species, and every usage guarantees a beneficial effect.
With the new crystallization facility in Austria, AGRANA is expanding its product portfolio with natural crystalline betaine: ActiBeet® 96 and ActiBeet® 97 for application in feed and drinking water. Due to high product value and the ongoing trend of consumer preference for natural products and strictly tested quality, make ActiBeet® the smart betaine choice and suitable for the global market covering all consumer expectations.
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