Well-balanced and cost-effective nutrition for aquaculture and young animals can present a challenge, especially when it comes to the supply of quality proteins. Today, soy concentrates are a sustainable alternative to the limited and shrinking fishmeal production worldwide.
In an effort to increase awareness about value-added soy products, USSEC offered the opportunity to visit a Spanish protein concentrates plant to 20 soy customers from Poland, Russia, Romania, and Turkey. During the second week of June, the team, escorted by USSEC consultant Dr. Gonzalo Mateos, visited ESASA, a Spanish company specializing in a unique protein concentrate production: micronized soy.
Micronized soy is manufactured using distinct and still-recent methods at an industrial level. The technology used by ESASA is an alternative to conventional processing techniques, which is a dry process based on air classification (dehulling) followed by fine particle size reduction (micronization) and air classification to produce protein concentrates. In addition to the higher protein yield and lower fiber content of such products, the technology is environmentally friendly, since it does not require any solvent extraction. The same plant can also process lupins, fava beans, peas, and rapeseed available in the Spanish market for the development of protein concentrates for aquafeeds in Spain.
“Compared to the protein concentrates extracted from other legumes and oilseed grains, soy protein is favored due to its well-balanced amino acid profile, enabling it to balance the most sophisticated aqua and young animal diets,” emphasized Dr. Mateos. “The micronized soy has a significantly higher nutritional value than any other leguminous seeds protein meals. By reducing the content of soluble fibers, the common gastric effects caused by fibrous materials are minimized. Micronization could increase the digestibility of dietary components of soy protein sources, thereby improving feed conversion rate in animal feeding.”
Developed, tested, and validated together with researchers from Spain, ESASA has created a range of new commercial protein concentrates products from soybeans, but also from peas, fava beans and rapeseeds designed for use in aqua or young animal feeds over the past few years.
The USSEC onsite training enabled European and Turkish customers to better understand the manufacturing and nutritional value of the micronized soy manufactured as an alternative to marine protein meals. The protein concentrate technology and soy products manufactured at ESASA has attracted a particular interest for the Turkish participants because of the fast growing aqua industry in the country and the increasing demand for high quality soy proteins. It is essential to find reliable suppliers for protein concentrates in Turkey.
By the end of the meeting, it was concluded that soy protein concentrates are a protein source in starter feeds for fishes, young poultries and piglets, due to the low anti-nutritional factors content and excellent amino acid profile and digestibility. Thanks to a longer shelf life compared to fishmeal and the ease of use, soy concentrates are more suitable for use in fish, pre-starters for young poultry and pigs, and as a component of milk substitute for calves. As the soy protein concentrates market is growing, the U.S. Soy flakes manufactures should capture the opportunity.