Fermented soybean meal: A path to improved shrimp aquaculture

Photo of author

By Milthon Lujan

a 30% FSBM fed group; the distal part of the hepatopancreas with the fuzzy white zone (arrow). b The control group with normal hepatopancreas. Source: El-Naby et al., (2023)
A) 30% FSBM fed group; the distal part of the hepatopancreas with the fuzzy white zone (arrow). B) The control group with normal hepatopancreas. Source: El-Naby et al., (2023)

In the pursuit of more sustainable and efficient shrimp aquaculture, an innovative study has shed light on the remarkable potential of Fermented Soybean Meal (FSBM).

Research conducted by scientists from the Agriculture Research Centre, Suez Canal University, National Research Centre, National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, and Benha University determined the effect of replacing fish meal with fermented soybean meal in the diets of Litopenaeus vannamei juveniles on growth performance, feed utilization, immunological parameters, and histopathological analysis.

The implications of this study are far-reaching as it not only addresses the challenges of shrimp growth and nutrition but also crucial immunological and physiological aspects.

A dietary revolution: substituting fish meal with FSBM

The study commenced by formulating four different diets, each with varying levels of FM replacement with FSBM (0.0%, 20%, 30%, and 40%). These diets were then administered to 300 L. vannamei juveniles in three separate replicates, allowing for a comprehensive assessment of their effects.

As the percentage of FSBM replacement in the diets increased, a noticeable decrease in growth performance and feed utilization was observed.

However, the group on the diet with 20% FSBM emerged as the winners in this growth competition, showing significantly higher growth and feed consumption. This group exhibited the highest protein content, underscoring the promising potential of FSBM for promoting shrimp development.

See also  The promise of super algae Galdiera - from volcanic springs to your plate

Balancing protein and lipid content

The dietary shift to FSBM brought intriguing results.

While the 20% FSBM group excelled in protein content, increasing FSBM levels significantly raised lipid content, providing valuable insights into the nutritional dynamics at play in shrimp aquaculture.

Surprisingly, there were no statistically significant differences between the FSBM treatments, highlighting the stability of FSBM as a dietary option.

Effects on immunology and physiology

The study delved into the immunological parameters of the shrimp, revealing that the 20% FSBM-fed group exhibited higher total protein concentration in hemolymph plasma and lysozyme activity.

Furthermore, the activity of antioxidant enzymes (CAT, SOD, GPX, and GR) experienced a substantial increase in the 20% FSBM group, indicating enhanced antioxidant defenses.

Conversely, markers of lipid peroxidation (MDA) were notably higher in the control and 30% FSBM groups, underscoring FSBM’s potential to mitigate oxidative stress.

Digestive enzymes and histopathological analysis

Analysis of digestive enzymes yielded some remarkable results. The 20% FSBM diet significantly increased amylase activity in the hepatopancreas. Additionally, both hepatopancreas and intestinal protease and lipase activity increased significantly with 20% FSBM, demonstrating the positive impact of FSBM on digestive processes.

Histopathological analysis revealed intriguing information about the presence of B cells in different diet groups, with the 40% FSBM diet showing higher prevalence. However, diets with 20% and 30% FSBM exhibited significantly lower counts, raising questions about the immunological dynamics driven by FSBM.


The findings of the study present a compelling narrative regarding the potential of fermented soybean meal for shrimp nutrition.

The balance between growth performance, nutrient content, and immunological parameters suggests that the 20% FSBM diet emerges as a promising avenue for future research. This dietary revolution not only optimizes shrimp growth but also enhances their immune system and antioxidant defenses.

See also  Genetics improves fish resistance

Amel M. El Asely
Department of Aquatic Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Benha University
Toukh, Qalyubia, 13736, Egypt
Email: amlvet@yahoo.com

Referencia (acceso abierto)
Abd El-Naby, A.S., Eid, A.E., Gaafar, A.Y. et al. Overall evaluation of the replacement of fermented soybean to fish meal in juvenile white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei diet: growth, health status, and hepatopancreas histomorphology. Aquacult Int (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10499-023-01234-0

Leave a Comment