ABOUT SPAROS

SPAROS is a science and technology company that develops new products and nutritional solutions for the aquaculture market. We have been closing the gap between fish nutrition research and the feeding industry since 2008.

Committed to the sustainable growth of the aquaculture sector, SPAROS fosters the transfer of novel scientific knowledge and expertise of new ingredients and feed additives among feed producers, fish farmers, and manufacturers.

Expertise

Our expertise is primarily driven from the vast fish nutrition scientific background of our team, strengthened by continuous academic involvement, and supported by a solid network of research centres, universities and  partner companies.

Areas of expertise

  • Fish and shrimp nutrition
  • Digestive physiology and metabolism
  • Stress response and immunity
  • Nutritional modelling tools
  • Feed processing technologies

Technology

The SPAROS feed mill includes several technologies for a diversified feed production approach. Its pilot-scale dimension is a valuable asset for developing new products and for optimizing feed processing technologies, as it provides the desired flexibility for producing tailor-made feeds.

Raw materials

In the SPAROS feed mill, raw materials and additives are received, checked for identification and condition, categorized, logged into our database, and stored in a dry and clean location.

Mixing & Milling

For all the different feed formulations, all dry ingredients are weighed, pre-blended, and then reduced to fine powder in a micropulverizer hammer mill. Reducing the blend into fine and uniform particles (around 200 µm) ensures a good pellet structure after the extrusion process and an optimal nutrient digestibility by fish. After milling, all dry ingredients are blended with the liquid ingredients in a high-performance paddle mixer, forming a homogeneous feed mash ready to be extruded.

Low-shear extrusion

The mash is extruded at a low shear rate (low temperature) to avoid disrupting particular molecules and/or their functionalities. This technique ensures the production of feeds with high water stability, although it is unable to control pellet buoyancy. It is often applied to produce larval and other specialty feeds.

High-shear extrusion

The mash is first cooked in a pre-conditioner, where steam is added to induce the gelatinisation of the starch-containing components. The mash is then pushed through a twin co-rotating screw, being subjected to high pressure and temperature. This robust and versatile technology allows wider operating ranges in terms of feed composition (such as the addition of higher levels of oils by vacuum coating) and customised pellet properties (buoyancy, durability, leaching). This technique is the most widely used in the aquafeed industry.

Drying

The water added during the previous steps is removed through an air-drying process at controlled temperature, ensuring that the target humidity level is achieved, thus guaranteeing microbiological control.

Crumbling

The dried pellets are crushed and reduced to a specific particle size range. Our customised rollers allow for a continuous process of pellet fine-tuning until the target size range is achieved.

Vacuum coating

The inner matrix of high-shear extruded pellets is made of microscopic air pockets (caused by axial expansion), which enables the addition of liquid blends by coating. In the first step of this process, the air inside these microscopic pockets is pumped out by vacuum pressure in the coater chamber. Then, pellets are sprayed with a liquid blend (may include oils, bioactive products, or nutraceuticals). After spraying, the negative pressure is equalized to atmospheric pressure, which pulls the coated liquid deep into the pellet core. This technique enables the addition of components that are susceptible to the extrusion process (such as heat labile compounds) and the production of feeds with higher levels of fat.

Sieving

The pellets are sieved to the target size range, while ensuring the minimal presence of undesirable fine particles, in order to guarantee best water quality during the feeding operations at the fish farm.

Packaging

The feeds are weighted, sacked, taped and coded, and then stored. For each batch produced in the SPAROS feed mill, a sample is sent to an accredited laboratory for quality control before shipment.

STANDARDS & CERTIFICATIONS

Our feed production undergoes rigorous quality control and hazards analysis processes complying with the Good Hygienic and Food Safety Practices, in accordance with HACCP principles.

All our products are thoroughly analysed in external laboratories that ensure compliance with all applicable legal requirements.

An Integrated Management System of R&D and Feed Safety is implemented according to NP 4457:2007 and NP EN ISO 22000:2005 standards, and compliant with GLOBAL G.A.P.

Certifications

Our commitment to the quality and feed safety of our production processes is ensured by our certifications.

Certificate of GLOBALG.A.P. Compound Feed Manufacturing control points and compliance criteria for quality assurance in the production, supply and purchase of raw materials and feed ingredients for compound feed for Aquaculture

Certificate of Food Safety in the Production of Compound Feeds for Aquaculture and Ornamental Fishes

OUR TEAM

“It’s our ability to transform the difficulties involved in the developing of new products, new formulas, and even new feeds for new farmed fish species into challenges that makes our everyday work so enticing.”

“In 2008, we felt there was a need in the aquaculture market to build a bridge between academia and industry, not only in Portugal, but also in Europe. There was distance between the research conducted in universities and the needs of the aquaculture industry as well as communication barriers to knowledge transfer. This was the reason behind the birth of SPAROS.”

Jorge Dias

Jorge Dias

PhD in Fish Nutrition
Co-founder, CEO and Production Manager

Jorge Dias is a Marine Biologist and holds a MSc in Food Technology (University of Bordeaux, France), a MSc in Marine Biology and Fisheries (University of Algarve, Portugal) and a PhD in Fish Nutrition from the University of Porto (Portugal). He created SPAROS in 2008 and manages in collaboration with his partner Luís, and he is responsible for managing and supervising the production line operation, as well as product development and quality issues. An expert in nutritional modulation of fish performance and quality, he formulates feeds for SPAROS products, its R&D projects and customers, and defines specifications and feeding practices.

 Luis Conceição

Luis Conceição

PhD in Aquaculture
Co-founder, CEO and R&D Project Manager

Luis Conceição is a Biologist  with a MSc in Aquatic Environment Sciences (ICBAS, University of Porto, Portugal) and a MSc in Aquaculture, and PhD in Fish Nutrition from Wageningen University (The Netherlands). Luís founded and manages SPAROS with his partner Jorge, and he coordinates the R&D projects, and manages exploitation of their results. An expert in aquaculture, he brings know-how  to projects in the areas of fish larvae nutrition,  sustainable aquaculture practices, mechanistic modelling of fish metabolism and growth, and interaction between nutrition, stress, growth, and fish welfare.

Wilson Pinto

Wilson Pinto

PhD in Aquaculture Nutrition
Project Manager/ Researcher

Wilson is a Marine Biologist who holds a PhD in Aquaculture specializing in nutrition from the University of Algarve (Portugal). He is an expert in marine fish larvae nutrition, namely on the physiological role of amino acids and their metabolism. One of his current activities in Sparos involves the formulation of microdiets for marine fish larvae, management of the commercial product ZEBRAFEED, and monitoring of nutrition trials. He also participates in the planning and management of scientific projects.

Ana Nobre

Ana Nobre

PhD in Environmental Sciences
Product Manager/ Researcher

Ana has more than 15 years of experience on data analysis and simulation of aquatic systems, namely, to support aquaculture production. Participated in several international (e.g. EU FP5,6,7, H2020, LIFE+, eco-innovation and COFASP), and national research projects, being responsible for the implementation of several work packages, both in academic and industrial settings. At SPAROS she is a researcher at scientific projects, and is involved with the activities related with assessing new feed formulations and optimize fish feeding and growth, using tools such as dynamic simulation software FEEDNETICS and FiT feeding tables.

Tomé Silva

Tomé Silva

PhD in Molecular Biology
Researcher

Tomé graduated in Biochemistry at the University of Algarve (Portugal) and has a PhD in Biological Sciences/Molecular Biology from the University of Algarve (Portugal). He has extensive experience in high-throughput molecular biology techniques (proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics), as well as in mathematical modelling of biological processes, data analysis and programming. As a researcher, he contributes with these expertises to several several R&D projects, including developing the software FEEDNETICS, web-tools, publications and communications.

Gabriella Pereira

Gabriella Pereira

PhD in Aquaculture Nutrition
Researcher

Gabriella holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences with specialisation in Aquaculture Nutrition by the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. Gabriella is an expert in microbiology applied to aquaculture, sustainable feed formulations, molecular biology and bioinformatics applied to aquaculture; and has significant experience as a researcher and coordination in scientific trials. Gabriella´s current activities in SPAROS comprise formulations of the contract research diets; as well as projects and experiments management. As a researcher, she participates in several SPAROS activities.

Tatiana Poletto

Tatiana Poletto

PhD in Aquaculture Nutrition
Marketing & Regulatory Manager

Tatiana has a PhD degree in Aquaculture focused on Fish Nutrition. Tatiana has worked many years with Research & Development for the aquaculture industry and has significant experience in using probiotics in aquatic organisms; developing and coordinating scientific trials for aquafeed products; and promoting technical sales opportunities for aquafeed. At SPAROS, Tatiana works as a researcher and marketing manager, being responsible for implementing marketing strategies to increase brand awareness, generating leads, gaining new customers, and ensuring the regulatory compliance pertaining to the business.

Vera Rodrigues

Vera Rodrigues

MSc in Marine Biology
Operator and Food Security Leader

Vera is a Marine Biologist who earned a MSc in Marine Biology (specialization in aquaculture) from the University of Algarve (Portugal). She is researcher with responsibilities in R&D feed production, and ensures the conformity of the production process of compound feeds for fish and shrimp, manages and monitors the ingredient stocks, and coordinates tjh purchasing and all quality control tests of raw materials and feeds.

Michael Viegas

Michael Viegas

PhD in Animal Science
Researcher

Michael has degree in Biochemistry and a MSc degree in Molecular biology and Microbiology. Michael has worked for many years researching different aspects of marine teleost fishes skeletal biology, either using model animals or in vitro tools (fish derived cell cultures). At SPAROS, Michael attained his PhD in Animal Science, with a specialization in fish nutrition within the scope of the SANFEED programme from the University of Porto and currently works as a researcher, participating in the design and implementation of experimental assays, as well as diet analysis and biochemical and molecular parameter measurements in fish and shrimp.

André Santos

André Santos

MSc in Biotechnology
Researcher

André is a member of the research team. He graduated in Biochemistry and earned his MSc in Biotechnology at the University of Algarve, Portugal. He has experience in microencapsulation technologies for the development of fish larvae diets, being involved in feed production (extrusion, vacuum coating) and taking care of diet analysis and biochemical parameter measurements in fish.

Filipe Soares

Filipe Soares

MSc in Environmental Systems
Researcher

Filipe is a junior researcher that graduated in Environmental Engineering Sciences and holds a MSc in Environmental Systems from NOVA University of Lisbon (Portugal). He is involved in several R&D projects related to biological modelling and software development and programming, participating also in growth performance trials and data analysis.

João Henriques

João Henriques

MSc in Aquaculture Nutrition
Product Manager

João is a Biologist and holds a MSc degree in Sustainable Aquaculture and Nutrition from the University of Stirling. He has a vast hands-on experience with diverse aquaculture species and systems and has been involved in international product commercialization projects and on managing portfolios of key clients. Current activities in SPAROS comprise fish trial planning and management activities in R&D projects, and product management of commercial product HATCHERY FEEDS.

Teresa Vairinhos

Teresa Vairinhos

Chemistry degree
Quality Manager

Teresa graduated in Chemistry ( University of Algarve, Portugal). She coordinates the administrative and financial activities at SPAROS, including project management, human resources, and financial control. She is in charge of the implementation, monitoring, and maintenance of the management system in accordance with the NP 4457, NP EN ISO 22000, and GLOBAL G.A.P. standards requirements.

Milene Grenhas

Milene Grenhas

MSc in Business Management
Health and Safety Manager

Milene graduated in Sociology and holds a MSc in Business Management from the University of Algarve (Portugal). She is involved in the management of customers and suppliers, quotations, and financial control. She also manages the logistics activities, as well as hygiene and safety at work.

Maria Morais

Maria Morais

MSc in Aquaculture
Researcher

Maria has a degree in Animal Husbandry (UTAD. Portugal) and a MSc in Aquaculture (University of Algarve). She is a researcher involved several R&D projects, including participation in experimental trials with fish, analytical work and data analysis, and provides also support in trials report writing.

Marco Correia

Marco Correia

Biochemical degree
Production Operator

Marco holds a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Algarve (Portugal). He supports the development and production of compound feeds for fish and shrimp and other technical-scientific activities according with the strategic goals of the company. He is also responsible for the provision and storage of raw materials and consumables.

Franklin Bernardo

Franklin Bernardo

Industrial Engineering degree
Production Operator

Franklin is a member of the feed production team. He is involved in the development and production of compound feeds for fish and shrimp, packaging and shipment of the products, besides other technical-scientific activities according to the strategic goals of the company.

Vanda Chaveiro

Vanda Chaveiro

Technician in Aquaculture
Aquaculture Operator

Vanda is an Aquaculture Technician who graduated at FOR-MAR in Algarve (Portugal). She is involved in experimental trials of several R&D projects, to test product efficacy, participates in sampling of fish and shrimp, and provides support in feed production activities.

Luís Manjua

Luís Manjua

Technician in Aquaculture
Production Operator

Luís is an aquaculture technician who graduated at FOR-MAR in Algarve (Portugal). As a member of the feed production team, he is involved in the development and production of compound feeds for fish and shrimp, packaging and shipment of the products, in addition to other technical-scientific activities according to the strategic goals of the company.

Tetyana Urshuliak

Tetyana Urshuliak

Technician in Aquaculture
Aquaculture Operator

Tetyana is an aquaculture technician based at our partner IPMA facilities  in Olhão. She is involved in the experimental trials, product efficacy tests and samplings of fish and shrimp.

João Morais

João Morais

Technician in Aquaculture
Production Operator

João is an Aquaculture Technician who graduated at FOR-MAR in Algarve (Portugal), and he is a member of the feed production team. He participates in the development and production of compound feeds for fish and shrimp, packaging and shipment of the products, as well as in other technical-scientific activities according to the strategic goals of the company.

OUR PhD STUDENTS

Sparos Lda collaborates daily with PhD Students, strengthening the bridge between academia and industry and sharing the most advanced knowledge in animal nutrition and aquaculture.

Bruno Reis

PhD in ...