Yeast Beta Glucan is a ‘biological response modifier’ by enhancing the activity of the immune system. Its function has been proved in a variety of research.

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Benefits of Beta-Glucan Supplementation in Shrimps Aquaculture 


Table of Contents

Over the past four decades, shrimp aquaculture has developed into a significant sector that employs millions worldwide, particularly in nations with extensive coastlines. However, the shrimp industry is still growing, and the emergence of illnesses has jeopardized shrimp aquaculture’s long-term viability. Similarly, the arbitrary use of antibiotics to ward off these illnesses has resulted in the development of some resistant infections in aquaculture. The idea of functional aqua feeds is a new paradigm that has gained traction in the aquaculture business. It generates diets that not only contribute to balanced nutrition but also contain some chemicals that significantly enhance the health and immunity of the organisms. The use of fish vaccinations and nutritional supplements containing prebiotics, probiotics, and immune stimulants for most aquaculture species is among the most frequently practiced preventive measures to replace antibiotics.


In addition to giving animals energy and nutrition, aquaculture feed enhances performance by using active ingredients that control physiological metabolism. An efficient way to lessen the detrimental impacts of varying environmental conditions on organisms is through nutritional management through food components (Li et al., 2017; Dawood et al., 2017a; Qiao et al., 2017). Current studies suggest that β-glucan can boost immunological response and increase growth performance in aquatic animals, including Pagrus major, zebrafish, and Nile tilapia ((Pilarski et al., 2017; Udayangani et al., 2017; Dawood et al., 2017b).

Role of Beta-glucans in aquaculture

Immuno-stimulants are chemical substances that cause fish and animals’ white blood cells (WBC) to become more resistant to pathogen-caused illnesses. Since a long time ago, the aquaculture industry has employed immune stimulants as feed additives. It is impossible to imagine modern aquaculture without injectable vaccinations against many pathogens that cause diseases. Yeast is one type of significant immune stimulant known as beta-glucans. Aquaculture has made extensive use of beta-glucan. They have been proven to be extremely helpful in preventing viral illnesses, reducing the mortality caused by opportunistic pathogens in young fish, improving disease resistance to parasites and farmed shrimp, and boosting the effectiveness of anti-microbial drugs and vaccinations (Raa, 2000).

Various animal groups, including fish, shrimp, and other land animals, have improved health, growth, and overall performance when dietary feed is supplemented with natural and commercial beta-glucans. The oral administration of (EcoActiva), a commercially available beta-glucan, has been shown to improve fish growth in pink snapper (Cook et al., 2003), rohu (Misra et al., 2006), and large yellow croaker (Ai et al., 2007).

Enhancing immunity

Compared to fish, shrimp have a somewhat basic immune system. They lack an adaptive immune system. Therefore, their only defense against harmful infections comes from the non-specific immune system. Shrimps must consequently be given innate immunity induction to protect them from diseases. The natural immune system is activated by beta-glucan, which increases shrimp resistance to bacterial and viral infections (Apines-Amar and Amar, 2015).

1. Vibriosis and white spot syndrome virus (WSSV)

Immersion or feeding with β-1,3/1,6-glucan (extracted from the yeast cell wall) tiger shrimp shows enhanced resistance against vibriosis and white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) and increased rate of post-infection survival (Scholz et al., 1999; Song et al., 1997; Sung et al., 1994). Similarly, the Schizophyllum commune derived β-1,3-glucan diet improves immunity in all growth stages of shrimp from brooder to adult against vibrio and WSSV. The yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) derived beta glucan, and its derivatives improve the growth rate and immunity of pacific white shrimp (Bai et al., 2014; Wongsasak et al., 2015; Boonanuntanasarn et al., 2016).

2. Myonecrosis virus

Aquaculture practices intensification and diversification provide a space for establishing novel viral infections. The infectious myonecrosis disease is caused by newly discovered infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNV). The disease was initially found in Brazil before spreading to Indonesia (Prasad et al., 2017). According to a Brazilian study, continuous consumption of a meal enriched with yeast beta-glucan increased Pacific white shrimp survival after oral exposure to IMNV (Sabry and Nunes, 2015).

A Case study: Effect of β-glucan on Penaeus vannamei

Polysaccharides are considered a broad-spectrum non-specific immune enhancer, which can enhance the body’s cellular and humoral immune functions, activate macrophages, promote the formation of antibodies, activate complement, and induce the production of interferons. Researchers have paid more and more attention to the use of polysaccharides to improve farmed animals’ immune function and body defense ability to prevent and treat diseases. 

This study reports the effect of yeast glucan on the immune function of Penaeus vannamei, to prevent and treat diseases by stimulating the autoimmune system and improving. The results of feeding yeast cell wall and β-glucan on the bacteriolytic activity of Penaeus vannamei are listed in Table 1. As can be seen from Table 1, the feed. Adding yeast cell wall and β-glucan for 10 days can significantly improve the bacteriolytic activity. There was no significant difference between the yeast cell wall and beta-glucan test groups.

Table 1 The effect of zymosan on the bacteriolytic activity of Penaeus vannamei

ProjectBacteriolytic activity
Bacteriolytic activity
Bacteriolytic activity
Feed Day10d20d30d
Yeast cell wall0.387±0.025b0.480±0.042b0.426±0.020b
Yeast beta-glucan0.399±0.26b0.376±0.026b0.389±0.022b
The data is sourced from

Note: Different English letters in the upper right corner of the mean value in the table indicate a significant difference (P<0.05).

As can be seen from Table 2, the feed was added with the yeast cell wall and β-glucan, and the shrimp were fed for 10 days. There was no significant difference between the superoxide dismutase and the basic group, but after feed for 20 days, the yeast cell wall was added to the feed. And β-glucan test group was significantly higher than the basic material group and maintained an increased activity at 30 days. Superoxide dismutase is one of the necessary antioxidant enzymes. It catalyzes the dismutation reaction of superoxide anion free radical O²- and scavenges the free radicals. Furthermore, it also prevents the free radicals from causing chain reactions, and protects the body. There was no significant difference in superoxide dismutase between the yeast cell wall and β-glucan groups.

After feeding with yeast cells and β-glucan for 10 days, the shrimp serum phenol oxidase activity was significantly higher than that of the control group, and still significantly higher than that of the control group after 20 days and 30 days. The phenol oxidase activity of the control group fluctuated greatly during the test period, while the feeding yeast cell wall and β-glucan fluctuated less and maintained a high activity level. This plays an essential role in improving the body’s disease resistance.

Table 2 Effects of zymosan on phenol oxidase (PO) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) of Penaeus vannamei

Control group21.44±1.5a140.9±21.5a20.15±1.8a49.9±9.4a13.36±1.1a121.1±16.4a
Yeast cell wall34.67±1.1b163.7±12.8a35.75±3.7b201.9±14.9b28.7±2.6b267.6±27.4b
Yeast beta glucan37.67±4.0b199.5±15.8a32.10±1.4b196.3±26.5b37.3±3.0b306.7±14.8b
The data is sourced from


 Yeast cell wall and β-glucan can significantly improve the Penaeus vannamei bacteriolytic, superoxide dismutase, phenol oxidase activity. It also improves the immunity of Penaeus vannamei. Furthermore, yeast cell walls and β-glucan also activate the superoxide disproportionation.

About Hiyeast

Hiyeast is a professional yeast beta-glucan manufacturer that supplies a purity of up to 70%; its yeast beta-glucan is Organic Certified Yeast Beta Glucan from baker’s yeast. 

Yeast Beta Glucan From Hiyeast

Hiyeast is a professional yeast beta-glucan manufacturer that supplies high-quality products. The yeast beta-glucan of Hiyeast is Organic Certified Yeast Beta Glucan from baker’s yeast. Hiyeast’s products are standardized according to HPLC and USP standard tests. Hiyeast products are readily available in the European and American markets and have good market value.

Hiyeast aims to bring healthy and natural products to the world, including food and beverages’ nutritional and sensory properties, with an internal team of microbiologists, food applications specialists, and yeast experts.

For more information about Yeast Beta Glucan, contact our team.


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