Latin America

Vitali Alimentos and Evonik are growing aquaculture together in Central America

The companies have been working together to update diets and develop nutritional innovations for shrimp farmers in Central America countries.

Vitali Alimentos and Evonik are growing aquaculture together in Central America
December 16, 2021

Vitali Alimentos is a corporation with more than 50 years of experience that brings together well-known companies and products in the food sector of Central America. It provides cost-effective nutritional solutions, through high-performance client formulas, which consider not only the nutritional requirements of the species but also the growing conditions, production systems, management, etc. focused on making the producer achieve profitable, productive results.

Through one of its business units, ARECA, Vitali Alimentos was involved in the fishing, processing and commercialization of seafood for many decades, including shrimp farming in the 1980s. ARECA has grown organically and through acquisitions in the intervening period adopting cutting-edge technology, and revolutionizing shrimp farming in the region. Following these developments, and in search of greater efficiency, the company ventured into feed manufacturing to become self-sufficient in shrimp farming. 

In the early 2000s, ARECA decided to specialize in the manufacturing of complete feeds and ventured into the commercialization of shrimp feed locally and then exporting to the region. ARECA’s first export was to Honduras, the country with the highest shrimp production in the region. It was very well accepted for its physical and nutritional quality, with an excellent technical and commercial advisory service made up of a team of highly qualified professionals who helped the producer to achieve profitable results. 

ARECA was a pioneer in the region in the development of feed formats for early stages in shrimp farming and the introduction of high-impact concepts, such as the then-novel micro-rations. It has clients in Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

The right fit

When looking for suppliers and partners, Vitali Alimentos looks to companies that support it to generate nutritional solutions for the producer, that are constantly generating technology to be more resource-efficient and sustainable, and that generate options that allow greater flexibility in feed formulation. In addition, it needs companies that help update diets and develop nutritional innovations.

It became involved with Evonik after a team of technicians and customers attended the launch of AQUAVI® Met-Met in Indonesia in 2016. It was the first time that Vitali Alimentos had heard of a specific development for aquaculture with low solubility for diet supplementation with amino acids. Later Vitali Alimentos, with the technical support of Evonik, conducted commercial trials on super-intensive systems (250-275 shrimp/m2), in more than three production units, to demonstrate the performance of the product and its impact on the formulation cost and inclusion of marine-based products.

Trial results indicated that treatments fed AQUAVI Met-Met had 7.6% greater growth (g/week), 3.8% lower feed conversion ratio (FCR) and 8% greater yields (kg/ha) compared to the control diet.

These results led ARECA to use AQUAVI® Met-Met in diets for shrimps, as it improved feed performance. The company also uses Evonik’s Ecobiol® and feed aminogram services. It considers Ecobiol® to be an excellent probiotic that can be included in the feed production process and values aminograms for the guarantee and support Evonik represents, the methodology and equipment used for the analysis and technical service of Evonik in Guatemala.

Maria Luisa Cordero, Josué De León and Neftalí Villanueva from Vitali Alimentos said that “Evonik is a leading company in specialty chemicals and well recognized in the animal nutrition industry for the innovations it offers and the high quality of its products. A company that invests in research, development and innovation, may be noted by the team of highly qualified professionals.”

They added that “the technical support provided by Evonik representatives, complemented by ARECA's experience in feed formulation, manufacturing and industry knowledge, has been an excellent strategic alliance to create shared value, elevating customers’ security in the adoption of innovations and proposed solutions.”