Follow our “Shrimp-based Functional Peptides” Series here:

Part 1: Peptides – The missing piece of the protein puzzle
Part 2: Superior digestibility of Shrimp-based Functional Peptides
Part 3: Shrimp-based Functional Peptides as novel & effective palatants
Part 4: Bioactivity of Shrimp-based Functional Peptides
Part 5: VNF’s holistic solutions for the protein market

Think of your absolute most favorite food in the world. The food that makes your mouth water and senses tingle as you envision taking a bite. The weakness of this article’s author is a freshly-baked croissant, so let’s imagine this delectable French pasty. Breathing in the buttery smell, you take the first bite. It is crispy on the outside yet silky and soft on the inside— a harmonious balance of flavors. Before you realize it, you have demolished that first croissant and crave another one.

Animals behave just like us. Food needs to smell good (attractive) to coax them to try it and taste good (palatable) to keep them eating more. They will eat less (or not at all) feed which lacks attractability and palatability, resulting in impaired animal, feed waste, and polluting surroundings (especially water bodies of aquaculture).

Figure 1: Attractability and Palatability

No doubt, each species has unique eating behaviors and requires different types of attractant and palatant.



Shrimp and fish detect their feed primarily via chemical receptors (Olfaction and Taste buds) because water – their living environment – is an excellent medium to transmit chemical stimuli [1] [2]. Only a few substances are attractive to them. These substances are species-specific – for example, Alanine, Arginine, Phenylalanine, and Glycine are mouth-watering for Shrimp, but Alanine, Proline, Arginine, Phenylalanine, and Leucine for Rainbow Trout [3].

Attractants in aquaculture, therefore, need to be: (i) Watersoluble (ii) Chemicalstimuli-rich (species-specific)

This explains why fresh worms make superb bait! In water, fresh worms release water-soluble substances that stimulate receptors in fish [4]. However, worms left for a long time will significantly lose chemical stimuli and no longer be attractive to fish.

Shrimp-based Functional peptides– An effective attractant in aquaculture

“Shrimp-based functional peptides” fulfill the requirement for an effective attractant in aquaculture. With a low average molecular weight (about 231 Da), “Shrimp based functional peptides” are water-soluble and rich in Alanine, Leucine, Phenylalanine Glycine, etc. These are amino acids that attract shrimp and fish, many of which are not yet commercialized and unavailable in the feed market.

Figure 2: Amino acids that attract aqua in “Shrimp based functional peptides”

According to Duong (2018) [5], “Shrimp-based functional peptides” demonstrate attractant efficiency roughly comparable to Squid Soluble Hydrolysate and better than Fish Soluble Hydrolysate – both common aquaculture attractants. These positive results reaffirm the superior attractant properties of “Shrimp based functional peptides” – the novel solution for aquaculture.

So the next time you go fishing, try using VNF’s “Shrimp based functional peptides”! Its success by our feed customers is a testament to its efficacy.


In the livestock industry, swine possesses one of the most intricate smell and taste senses. Swine can detect smell better than even dogs with 1,113 olfactory receptor genes (compared to 872 in dogs) [6]. With 3 times more taste buds than humans, swine perceive taste better than humans by far [7].

Swine are also a “big fan” of umami [8][9]! If you are a swine farmer, you could mix Monosodium Glutamate (the flavor enhancer in your kitchen) with swine feed to stimulate more eating.

“Shrimp-based functional peptides”– A powerful palatant for livestock

“Shrimp-based functional peptides” are abundant in amino acids (particularly glutamic acid) that trigger umami taste in swine.

Figure 2: Amino acids that attract aqua in “Shrimp based functional peptides”

Replacing fishmeal with “Shrimp-based functional peptides” willyield better feed consumption and boostgrowth rate. According to Nguyen (2014) [10], when 1.5% fishmeal is substituted with 6.75% “Shrimp-based functional peptides,” feed consumption and final body weight increased 17% and 32%, respectively, compared with the control diet of 3% fishmeal. “Shrimp-based functional peptides” were proven to be just as tasty (and productive) as fishmeal!

So if you did intend to supplement MSG to your swine feed, we recommend instead using “Shrimp-based functional peptides” to create the umami taste (and leaving that MSG bottle in the house).


Animal feed traditionally contains fishmeal – a protein source that must also function as an attractant and palatant. Yet as fishmeal supply continually depletes, it is no question that a more sustainable alternative is needed., yet challenging if it is to be produced sustainably.

VNF’s proprietary biotechnological application combined with a zero-waste production mindset enables “Shrimpbased functional peptides” to be the revolutionary and reliable solution for feed industries. And although past shrimp-based peptides producers were short-lived (polluting production and community pressures), VNF is proud to be a leading player in this industry capable of large sustainable production (more details in part 5 of the Peptides series).

With VNF’s “Shrimpbased functional peptides” as the efficient attractant and palatant, animals will eat more, grow better, reduce feed waste, and alleviate habitat pollution. This is essential for aquaculture and livestock since both industries face the need to minimize fishmeal reliance while still achieving animal growth and productivity –the success of VNF’s feed partners is a testament to this goal.

 “Shrimpbased functional peptides” also have the valuable benefit ofmaintaining feed intake for animals that lose their appetite when they are sick or stressed, especially offspring during post-weaning. And much like the gummy candies masking children’s medication, “Shrimpbased functional peptides” can be used to disguise the bitterness of medicated feed!

If anything, using “Shrimpbased functional peptides” means that you might not even need to use medication on your farmed animals as much as you are used to. Stay tuned for our next article as we explore the functional health benefits!


[1] Hara, T. J. (1994). The diversity of chemical stimulation in fish olfaction and gustation. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 4(1), 1–35.

[2] Bardera, G., Usman, N., Owen, M., Pountney, D., Sloman, K., Alexander, M. (2018). The importance of behaviour in improving the production of shrimp in aquaculture. Reviews in Aquaculture.

[3] Thomas, H. (2009). Feed attractants for juvenile chinook salmon prepared from hydrolysates of pacific hake. University of British Columbia open collections.

[4] “Chemoreception in aquatic environment: A primer”. Aquaculture Alliance, Retrieved on 06/4/2021.

[5] Duong .M, (2018). Đánh giá một số chất dẫn dụ bổ sung vào thức ăn tôm thẻ chân trắng (Litopenaeus vannamei).

[6] Sigler, N. M. (2016). The Theoretical Application and Comparison of the Olfactory Sensory Organs in Swine vs Canines for Accelerant and Explosives Detection

[7] Roura, E. (2003). Recent studies on the biology of taste and Olfaction in mammals. New approaches in pig Nutrition.

[8] “The good taste of pigs (Part II): Let it be umami”. Pig333, Retrieved on 06/4/2021.

[9] Guzmán-Pino, S. A., Lazcano, C., De Luca, V., Figueroa, J., Valenzuela, C., & Roura, E. (2019). Dietary Inclusion of Monosodium Glutamate in Gestating and Lactating Sows Modifies the Preference Thresholds and Sensory-Motivated Intake for Umami and Sweet Solutions in Post-Weaned Pigs. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 9(6), 336.

[10] Tha. N.T, (2014). Nghiên cứu sử dụng dịch chiết đầu tôm thủy phân thay cho bột cá dùng làm nguồn cung protein trong thức ăn heo thịt.