Experimental diets were processed at the Oceanic Institute by adding various bioactive compounds (lutein, fucoxanthin, astaxanthins (Ax), glucosamine, carotenoid mix, phytosterol mix, bromophenol (Bp) mix or their combination) to a formulated (control) diet to examine their effects on sensory composition and growth of shrimp. These diets and a commercial feed were fed to ∼1.6 g shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) in four replicates in an indoor laboratory under flow-through conditions for 8 weeks. Results indicated that all the supplementations of the bioactive compounds did not improve shrimp growth (0.79–0.97 g week−1) compared with that (0.94 g week−1) of the control diet (P>0.05). However, inclusion of lutein (200 mg kg−1) or carotenoid mix (827 mg kg−1) in the control diet (with supplemental Ax) resulted in much higher free Ax (48.3 or 46.5 mg kg−1) and esterified Ax (6.2 or 3.9 mg kg−1) content in shrimp tails than the control diet (28.4; 1.4 mg kg−1 respectively) (P<0.05). Inclusion of Bp (2 mg kg−1) in the control diet resulted in higher levels of Bp (160 μg kg−1) in shrimp tail muscle than the control diet (81 μg kg−1) (P<0.05). Three free amino acids, glycine, proline and alanine might be mainly responsible for the sweet taste of L. vannamei. The results suggest that the supplementation of the bioactive compounds may not affect shrimp growth performance, but some may affect the composition and taste of shrimp.