Cultivation Tips

The Differences between Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics

Kalyca Krisandini
Kalyca Krisandini
26 October 2023
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Probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics are additional components that can benefit shrimp growth. Probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics can also be the alternative for disease handling. This Shrimp News article will discuss the differences between probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics and their benefits for shrimp health.


Probiotics are living microbes that provide health benefits when given in sufficient amounts. Probiotics usually consist of good bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Probiotics affect the body's immune response and have a positive impact on the digestive system, immune system, and general health.

In shrimp farming, probiotics serve as feed supplements to improve health, especially the shrimp digestive system. Probiotics maintain the health of shrimp by suppressing the growth of pathogenic bacteria and increasing the growth of good bacteria. Giving probiotics to shrimp is also considered to be more environmentally friendly than giving antibiotics because it can minimize residues in the pond ecosystem. 

Probiotics have several benefits for shrimp, including:

  • Improve digestive system
  • Being the remedy for digestive disorders
  • Boost the immune system
  • Reduce the risk of disease
  • Increase absorption of nutrients in the intestines
  • Increase biomass, SR, ABW, ADG, and reduce FCR
  • Lower levels of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, hydrogen sulfide and organic waste in ponds


Prebiotics are different from probiotics. According to FAO/WHO, prebiotics are unlive feed components and can give benefits to health through microbiota modulation. Prebiotics cannot be digested by digestive enzymes, but are included in the type of fiber that can be well fermented by good bacteria in the intestine. In addition, prebiotics also function as the food for probiotics and other good bacteria in the digestive system. By stimulating the growth of healthy microorganisms, prebiotics help increase intestine health as a whole.

 The benefits of prebiotics for shrimp namely:

  • Increase the growth and activity of healthy microorganisms in the intestine
  • Increase the absorption of calcium and magnesium
  • Improve the health of the intestine as a whole


Synbiotics are the combination of probiotics and prebiotics that work together to give health benefits. In the context of synbiotics, probiotics serve as living microorganisms that occupy the digestive system, while prebiotics serve as the food for probiotics. This combination aims to increase the positive impact of living microorganisms and facilitate their growth in the intestine. One of the examples of synbiotics is the fermentation of oligosaccharides in the colon that results in physiological effects, one of which is increasing the population of bifidobacteria in the colon.  

Synbiotics have many benefits, including:

  • Improve the digestive system and lower the symptoms of digestive disorders
  • Improve the balance of intestinal microflora
  • Increase the immune system
  • Increase growth rate, feed conversion, and shrimp condition

It should be remembered that the practice of giving probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics may vary depending on the cultivation conditions and the products used. It is recommended to follow the instructions for use provided by the manufacturer of the probiotics, synbiotics and prebiotics.



FAO Technical Meeting on Prebiotics | FAO

Ketahui Perbedaan dan Manfaat Probiotik, Prebiotik, dan Sinbiotik | Pusat Studi Pangan dan Gizi Universitas Gadjah Mada

Probiotics: What You Need to Know | National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Probiotik: Menjaga Kesehatan Udang dan Kualitas Air

Widanarni, Noermala, J. I., Sukenda. 2014. Prebiotik, probiotik, dan sinbiotik untuk mengendalikan koinfeksi Vibrio harveyi dan IMNV pada udang vaname. Jurnal Akuakultur Indonesia.

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