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December 5, 2015


Potiporã Aquacultura, Tests Nutrient Levels in Shrimp Feeds


Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), a new, quick evaluation technology, has been successfully applied in Brazil to ensure shrimp feed quality at the farm level.


Potiporã Aquacultura, the largest shrimp farm in Brazil, uses NIRS to evaluate the feed it acquires from third parties.  Located in Rio Grande do Norte, Potiporã is part of the vertically integrated maturation, hatchery, growout and processing operations owned by Queiroz Galvão Alimentos, S.A.  The 960-hectare farm used 4-hectare growout ponds to produce 7,000 metric tons of Pacific white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) in 2014.


NIRS can perform multiple analyses within minutes.  The NIRS concept is based on prediction models using calibration curves of desired nutrients.  The curves are based on a database previously developed from chemical analyses of a wide and diversified universe of samples.  A 100-gram sample of feed is run through the NIRS system and results are provided within seconds.


Calibration curves are usually designed to estimate moisture, crude protein, fat, crude fiber, ash, calcium and phosphorus values of each sample.  At Potiporã, calibration curves were standardized with 460 feed samples individually analyzed by wet chemistry.


In addition to the investment involved in the acquisition of NIRS equipment, there are also costs in the development of the calibration curves.  This effectively limits the application of NIRS to large-scale shrimp farms that rely on third-party feed suppliers.


The unique feed quality assessment program developed by Potiporã has safeguarded the enterprise from potential financial losses associated with undesirable feed quality, and continued surveillance through NIRS has reduced the uncertainties and variables that affect shrimp farming.


With a comprehensive database on hand, the company has established a feed purchasing policy aligned with farm needs for nutritious feed products.  Calibration curves are now under development for essential amino acids and fatty acids.


Information: Alberto J P. Nunes, Ph.D., LABOMAR–Instituto de Ciências do Mar, Av. da Abolição, 3207–Meireles, CEP 60165-081 Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil (email


Source: The Global Aquaculture Advocate (The Global Magazine for Farmed Seafood).  Editor, Darryl Jory (  NIRS Technology Ensures Shrimp Feed Quality at Farm Level.  Alberto J.P. Nunes, Thiago Costa Paiva and Sergio de Lima Cavalcanti.  Volume 18, Issue 6, Page 68, November/December 2015.

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