Evonik Industries announced March 13 that it will build the world's first plant for the production of AQUAVI Met-Met — a new source of methionine specially developed for feeds for shrimp and other crustaceans raised in aquaculture — in Antwerp, Belgium.
The plant is scheduled to begin operation in late 2015, and the investment is in the lower double-digit-million-euro range, Evonik said.
Evonik executive board member and chief operating officer Patrik Wohlhauser said, "AQUAVI Met-Met is an ideal addition to our product portfolio for aquaculture and opens up new growth perspectives for Evonik. It strengthens our position as the leading supplier of feed additive amino acids for animal nutrition."
The product is protected by a number of intellectual property laws worldwide, including an application patent.
"We will initially offer (the product) for use with shrimp and crustaceans. Use with other species will follow," Dr. Reiner Beste, head of Evonik's Health & Nutrition Business Unit, said. "The new plant is set up in such a way that we will be able to provide our customers with a reliable supply of AQUAVI Met-Met in the future."
Evonik explained that AQUAVI Met-Met is a dipeptide made up of two DL-methionine molecules. The dipeptide is far less water soluble than the individual molecules and, for this reason, does not wash out of the feed as quickly. The shrimp take in AQUAVI Met-Met and break it back down into two individual DL-methionine molecules during the digestive process. This way, DL-methionine and the rest of the nutrients in the feed are all available to the organism at the same time.