Codemet and I&V BIO have joined forces to establish the first artemia production plant in Ecuador and the surrounding region, a set-up modelled on the same technology that is already used in their laboratories in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Using cryptobiosis to halt the metabolic process of artemia, a technology I&V BIO SA began developing eight years ago, researchers can control the hatching process to optimize production. This technique is a major advance on the traditional methods currently being used in the 200 or so larval laboratories in the country in terms of both nutritional value and health.
Francisco Sánchez, head of production of the plant, explained to Expresso that the process includes the use of large tanks, which, with salt water and lights, simulate the marine environment so that artemia can enter into the hatching process. Control is fully automated. When they enter the tank, a system records the time and hatching lot, and parameters that will help to make decisions to guarantee performance.
I&V BIO Ecuador expects to start selling artemia from the Santa Elena plant starting this month. Initially it expects to produce 400 trays per day, and in 60 days, 800; an amount equivalent to between 800 and 1,000 pounds a day. The goal is that, in three months 33 per cent of demand can be covered and 66 per cent by the end of the year. The aim is that laboratories continue to stock up on artemia, paying the same amount they paid before, but for a clean raw material and with better survival and nutritional rates that guarantee productivity.