Ecuadorian Aqua Feed Producers Take Part In Distillers Symposium

To increase awareness of corn-fermented proteins and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) among some of the largest shrimp producers in Ecuador, the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Latin America (LTA) office invited a team to attend the Distillers Grains Technology Council’s Distillers Symposium in Iowa this August. The event provided an overview of the U.S. distillers’ industry, its latest advances, challenges and successes.

The LTA office invited five relevant shrimp feed producers based in Ecuador, producing shrimp feed for Ecuador, Peru and Central America. Those companies represented 48 percent of the shrimp feed produced in Ecuador in 2021.

“Gathering this group helped the Council increase awareness of corn-fermented proteins and regular DDGS among the largest potential end-users in the shrimp sector in the LTA region. Some of these producers have experience using regular DDGS but their knowledge and experience with corn-fermented proteins is limited. Having four of the top five shrimp feed producers in Ecuador here in Iowa was a great opportunity for the Council and our members,” said Ana Ballesteros, USGC LTA marketing director.

In addition to taking part in the symposium, the team was able to visit several ethanol plants and a corn operation. Through these visits, the group was able to hear firsthand about the trials taking place and research being conducted in the aquaculture sector on the use of corn-fermented proteins and DDGS in aqua feed. The participants highlighted the relevance of the site visits in gaining a better understanding of the different products available, research taking place and for networking with potential suppliers.

“For the group, visiting different ethanol plants was eye-opening. They were able to better understand the different products available and hear directly from the producers on many relevant things when evaluating an ingredient, including the production process. They also appreciated visiting the corn operation and participating in the symposium as it gave them an opportunity to have a broader view of the industry producing the distiller’s grains,” Ballesteros said.

The program successfully increased awareness about corn co-products among the group, representing a relevant portion of the market potential in Ecuador. Based on the additional inquiries and continued conversation among participants and producers in the U.S., there is interest in considering the products for the shrimp-diets they produce. Additionally, it was an opportunity for the Council to discuss and understand relevant considerations for a future trial in Ecuador that can provide additional support to usage consideration among participants.