Global Bugs

Insects as future feed

Insects show ‘huge’ potential as protein feed ingredient

New research indicates that insects are a safe source of protein for animal feeds and a viable option for the future.

The potential for using insect protein as a source of animal feed for pigs, poultry and fish in the European Union was described as “huge” at a recent conference organized by PROteINSECT in Brussels.

While the deliberate feeding of insect protein to farmed animals intended for food is not permitted under EU law, there is a growing desire to reduce reliance on imports of protein feeds from non-EU countries, according to Adrian Charlton of Fera Science in the U.K. Recognized for its global expertise in safety assessments and quality data, Fera Science has been investigating the implications of feeding insects to livestock as a source of protein as part of the PROteINSECT project.

“Environmental concerns and the EU protein deficit, along with fluctuating global protein prices, are huge concerns and it is important we look at additional sources of protein to achieve a sustainable U.K. agriculture,” said Charlton. Insects are an innovative new source of feed. And, according to initial studies, a viable option for farmers to consider for inclusion in livestock diets. They are also a natural component of the diet of poultry, pigs and fish, so it is logical to investigate the options of feeding insects.

“There is a lot of work to do to understand and manage safety risks for animal feed, however, early indications are very promising. In terms of a protein source, insect protein is around 86-89 percent digestible, which is significantly higher than most vegetable-based protein. There is also the potential for high value by-products such as fats and oils.

More efficient protein?

Combined with potential production efficiencies, insect feed is attractive for the future of animal nutrition. For example, soybean yields around 0.9 metric tons (mt) per hectare (0.36 tons/acre) of protein, compared with insects that potentially yield 150 mt per hectare (60 tons/acre) protein. That offers the potential of a 200-fold reduction in land use.

Charlton stressed the need to understand the methods of production, the costs of production and the safety elements, but “early data suggests this is a viable option for the future,” he said.

“As part of this research, insects were fed to quality-assured animal trials in late 2015/early 2016, under the protocol of European feed industry standards,” Charlton said. “Control diets contained fishmeal. This was substituted at a range of varying inclusion levels with insect meal. The results showed that all animals performed in line with controls.”

Samples of the fish, chicken and pork were also analyzed for contaminants, taints and changes in nutritional profile, and no difference was found.

To coincide with the conference, PROteINSECT published a white paper. The document, titled “Insect Protein – Feed for the Future: Addressing the need for feeds of the future today,” covers safety, nutritional value, environmental impact, commercialization and consumer acceptance of insect protein in animal feed. It endorses two key actions: to review key EU regulations that prohibit the production and feeding of insects to livestock, and to present data to allow the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to carry out a full risk profile for insects reared on organic wastes.

PROteINSECT is an EU-funded project enabling the exploitation of insects as a sustainable source of protein for animal feed and human nutrition. Bringing together expertise from China, Africa and Europe, the project has 12 partners from 7 countries and is coordinated by Fera Science Ltd.

It was reported late last year that changes to the regulations indicate that insect protein may soon enter the animal feed market in the European Union.

For more information, please follow this link.

House Crickets

European Commission OKs insect protein for aquafeed

But one company says more must be done to allow insects in pig, poultry feed

The European Commission has officially authorized insect-based protein for aquaculture feed, with the regulation text to come into effect on July 1.

European Union regulations will now allow insect protein to be fed to farmed fish, but at least one company says the European Commission should act to allow safe and sustainable insect-based feedstock to be used in the pork and poultry industries.

“We welcome the European Commission’s official ruling on this important reform for the aquaculture industry,” said nextProtein co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Syrine Chaalala. “With the vast majority of farmed fish relying on fishmeal and the depletion of our marine ecosystems, insect-based proteins offer the aquaculture industry a more sustainable way to ensure fish for human consumption.”

NextProtein, a French-Tunisian agritech startup, said “more must be done to ensure outdated regulations do not slow progress in such a vital field of sustainable agriculture.”

“What must now be a priority is ensuring outdated regulations are amended to ensure safe and sustainable insect proteins can be used in the poultry and pork industries,” said nextProtein co-founder and CEO Mohamed Gastli said. “Insect proteins are one of the most abundant sources of alternative proteins but until now the legal framework covering insect proteins needs has yet to fully catch up to the future of what businesses like ours can offer to modern agriculture.

“We now need the European Commission to amend regulations to include the poultry and pork industries and ensure safe and sustainable insect proteins, which are created using significantly less land, water and energy resources, with less greenhouse gas emissions.”

The European Food Safety Authority in 2015 published a risk profile on the use of insects as human food and animal feed, addressing and comparing various potential hazards. It noted that risks would very much depend on production methods, substrate, life cycle stage at harvesting, species and methods used for processing.

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Facility to make insect-based novel pet food ingredient

A joint venture between a bio-engineering firm and a pet food ingredient maker will focus on black soldier fly (BSF) larvae.

A joint venture between a bio-engineering firm and a pet food ingredient maker will focus on black soldier fly (BSF) larvae, an insect which can serve as a novel pet food ingredient among other uses.

Intrexon Corporation, which works in the engineering and industrialization of biology, and Darling Ingredients Inc., a developer and producer of sustainable natural ingredients from bio-nutrients, formed the partnership. The joint venture, called EnviroFlight, plans to significantly expand production of ingredients for sustainable feed and nutrition derived from black soldier flies. The facility will be the largest commercial-scale BSF larvae production facility in the United States, according to an Enviroflight press release.

At the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) meeting in January, the Ingredient Definitions Committee deliberated on the use of insect ingredients in pet food and other products, reported David Dzanis, DVM, PhD, CEO of Regulatory Discretion, for Petfood Industry.

The Committee indicated that new AAFCO definitions for each insect, type of ingredient (flour, meal, protein concentrate, etc.) and intended species would need to be established first for the insect ingredients to be considered acceptable. To date, only one insect, black soldier fly larvae (AAFCO #T60.117) has been defined, and that is limited to use in salmonid feeds.

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Major beef supplier Cargill to exit U.S. cattle-feeding business

Cargill Inc said on Wednesday it will exit the business of feeding cattle to direct capital toward other investments, the latest transformation for the global commodity trader.

Minnesota-based Cargill struck a deal to sell its last two feed yards to ethanol producer Green Plains Inc for $36.7 million, after selling other feedyards to Friona Industries last year, according to the companies.

Cargill’s withdrawal from the feeding business highlights a change in priorities at the company, which says it is the world’s largest supplier of ground beef.

Cargill wants to expand its North America-based protein business by exploring plant-based protein, fish and insects, along with other opportunities linked to livestock and poultry, spokesman Mike Martin said.

See the full article by following this link

A Cargill logo is pictured on the Provimi Kliba and Protector animal nutrition factory in Lucens, Switzerland, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Canadian approval for insects in salmon feed

Enterra Feed Corporation has received approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to sell its Whole Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae as a feed ingredient for salmonids, including farmed salmon, trout and arctic char.
With this approval, the company is now the first to market and sell this sustainable, natural product to aquaculture feed manufacturers in Canada. This is the first Canadian approval of an insect-based aquaculture feed ingredient, and follows the CFIA’s approval using this same product in feed for chicken broilers last year. Enterra received a similar US approval for use in salmonid feeds in 2016.
Canada is the fourth-largest producer of farmed salmon in the world, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. In 2015 the farm gate value (the net value when it leaves the farm) of salmon and trout in Canada was $850 million1.

Digestible and renewable source of protein

“Aquaculture feed producers have been keenly awaiting this approval and we look forward to supplying their needs immediately,” said Andrew Vickerson, Chief Technology Officer, Enterra. “Fish eat insects in their natural environment and our product is a healthy, digestible and renewable source of protein and fat that can replace less sustainable ingredients, including fish meal and soybean meal.”

Production of fish meal, which is a standard aquaculture feed ingredient, can deplete wild ocean fish stocks and is subject to substantial price fluctuations. Soybean meal requires significant agricultural inputs that could otherwise be used more efficiently to grow food for people.

“Insects are a natural source of digestible protein and fat for fish, including salmon and trout,” said Dr Brad Hicks, a veterinarian and partner in Taplow Feeds, an aquaculture feed manufacturer. “This product will contribute to healthy, active fish and is a great alternative feed ingredient.”

Black soldier fly is a beneficial insect

Enterra uses the larvae of the black soldier fly, a beneficial insect species that is highly efficient at upcycling complex nutrients in pre-consumer waste food into an excellent source of protein and fat, perfect for inclusion in feed for fish, poultry, pets and zoo animals. These innovative products offer a sustainable alternative to resource-intensive feed ingredients like fish meal, fish oil, soybean meal, palm kernel oil and coconut oil.

Source: and Enterra.

ACFS push on “cricket” as the new economic insects of Thailand

According to the European Union (EU) has adopted rules Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 with new foods (Novel Food) instead of the existing rules. The regulation also covers new foods, such as foods not consumed in the EU prior to May 15, 1997, local food (Traditional Food) consumed in a third country not less than 25 years, the food component is engineered nanomaterials (Engineered Nanomaterial), including dishes made with insects or insect parts. The adoption of such rules affects the export of food products, especially insects, such as crickets. In Thailand the insects as the new economy have expanded and has raised increasing every year. They are also the foods that get the attention of consumers. Both domestic and abroad extensively due to a highly nutritious, cheap, low cost, and can be processed to add value in a variety of species.

National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS) and Delegation of European Union, Khonkaen University and the Office of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) joined the seminar “The new EU regulation for food: The special case of insects” on 26-27 October 2016 by inviting experts from agencies of the EU risk assessment (EFSA) to provide knowledge and understanding about the Novel Food Regulation to manufacturers and operators of Thailand to prepare for the enforcement of such regulations. And encourage farmers and entrepreneurs, accelerate the development of processing and manufacturing products that are safe, according to EU standards. This will increase competitiveness further.

Present ACFS accelerated preparation of the cricket farm and expected to be adopted formally by the year 2017 to support the party because it processed and exported to international cricket. And support the forthcoming Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 which will take effect on January 1, 2560.

On 19 January 2017 our Chief Operations Officer, one of the academic committee, participated the meeting for Good Agricultural Pratice (GAP) for cricket farms standard. Thailand will be the first country in the world where has GAP for cricket farm standard.

Source: and


EU agrees on insect protein for aquafeed

IPIFF, the European Umbrella Organisation representing the interests of the Insect Production sector for Food and Feed – welcomed the ‘green light’ given by EU Member States on the authorisation of insect proteins as fish feed.
The EU Member States representatives endorsed a European Commission proposal which was discussed today in a meeting of the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF). The text is expected to be formally adopted during the spring 2017, which means that insect proteins should be effectively authorised for use in fish feed as from 1st July 2017. This is earlier than predictions from Dutch bank ABN Amro who forecasts Q3 2017 for approval of insect meal in aquafeed.

Reacting to Member States’ vote, IPIFF president Antoine Hubert said: “We are particularly pleased with the move made by EU institutions: the opening of this legislation is in our view a major milestone towards the development of the European insect production sector.”

IPIFF vice president Tarique Arsiwalla recalled the recent opinion from the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) dated from 8 October 2015, which concluded that insects fed with plant based materials entail no risks if insect producers comply with best hygiene practices. “This is precisely the case of the IPIFF members, who comply with very stringent risk management procedures, in accordance with the EU food and feed safety legislations,” explained Arsiwalla.

Looking ahead, IPIFF expressed the will to pursue efforts towards a possible authorisation of insect proteins to other non-ruminant species (e.g. pigs and poultry) or to allow to use other ‘high grade’ materials to feed their insects. “We will plead for further relaxation of EU rules, in case safety conditions associated with these new routes have been demonstrated,” explained Hubert. The recent ABN Amro report on this topic expects approval of insect meal for pigs and poultry in 2020.

“In the long run, these changes should contribute to alleviate European dependency on protein imports, whilst securing a promising source of protein for EU farmers & customers,” concluded the IPIFF chair.

Also outside the EU, the reactions are positive. Jason Drew, co-founder of AgriProtein (the world’s biggest fly-farmer, established in South Africa) said. “Yesterday’s move by EU regulators brings insect protein into the mainstream of ingredients permitted in animal feed. This is a big step forward for the environment and for world food security. Trawling the oceans to produce fishmeal is one of the most destructive activities on the planet. Replacing fish protein with insect protein in animal diets allows us to dedicate our oceans to production for human consumption alone.” Drew hopes that regulators now move to the next logical step: give insect protein the green light as a feed for all non-ruminants. He also states that post-consumer waste should be given the green light as insect-rearing material, which is done outside the EU. “Outside the EU, our fly-factories are already making a big dent in the waste-to-landfill problem,” said Drew.

FSA poses allergy questions over future use of insects protein.

A new report from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has highlighted the importance of considering how to balance the potential nutritional benefits of using insect protein against the need to manage the risks this may pose for “allergic consumers”.

The report, launched today during a food allergy and intolerance research programme workshop in London, seeks to “debunk some of the myths that exist” in relation the issue. In doing so, however, it devotes a concluding page to the potential impact of adding insect protein to the food chain.

The publication comes at a time when the use of insect protein by the animal feed industry in pig, poultry and fish diets is gathering considerable momentum. Delegates attending this year’s PROteINSECT conference in Brussels, for example, were told that the animal feed industry was now “ready” to address the use of insect protein in feeds. That, however, was before the FSA added its allergy observations to the debate.

“Novel foods such as insects could be the sustainable food of the future,” stated the FSA, “but what does this mean for food allergy? With the growing world population, the demand for animal protein is predicted to increase by 75% between now and 2050, and insects are promising candidates as an alternative sustainable food source.

“Given the novelty of insects as food in Europe, there is a need to think more about potential food safety risks and how insects can be prepared and eaten safely. Along with physical, toxicological and microbiological risks, a key issue for any new sources of protein is the potential to cause food allergies.

“From an allergy perspective the major risk associated with new foods like insects is that they can contain proteins that may elicit an allergic response in populations where they are newly introduced.

“With a growing number of insect products appearing on the market it is important to consider how we balance getting the benefits of new foods while managing the risks for allergic consumers. Making consumers aware there is a potential for allergic reactions, especially for those with an allergy to crustaceans, will be an important step.”

Source: PW reporter on November 04, 2016,

Insect journal to co-operate with EAAP

The Journal of Insects as Food and Feed (JIFF) will collaborate with the recently appointed Study Commission on Insects of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP).
Last August, at their annual meeting in Belfast, UK, the EAAP announced a new Study Commission on Insects. This Commission will address all questions concerning biomass as substrate for insect rearing, nutritional requirements of insects, insect production, processing methods of insect products, feeding value of insects (products) in animal feed, functional properties of insect products in animal feed, market applications, regulatory issues, consumer acceptance, environmental and socio-economic sustainability.

These topics fit perfectly within the scope of JIFF, the online scientific peer-reviewed journal that publishes articles looking at the multitude of aspects relevant for the utilisation of insects in increasing food and feed quality, safety and security, covering edible insects from harvesting in the wild through to industrial-scale production.

The Study Commission on Insects will organise sessions at the annual EAAP meetings, and the resulting peer-reviewed scientific output will be published in JIFF. The first sessions organised by the Study Commission on Insects will be held during the 2017 EAAP annual meeting in Tallinn, Estonia, 28 August – 1 September.

Dr Teun Veldkamp, a scientist at Wageningen Livestock Research in the Netherlands, is the first president of the new commission. As part of the collaboration with JIFF, he will join the editorial board of the journal. Jørgen Eilenberg, professor at the University of Copenhagen and editorial board member of JIFF since its launch, is also a member of the Study Commission on Insects. The other commission members are Michelle Epstein (Medical University of Vienna), Alessandro Agazzi (University of Milan), Marian Peters (International Insect Centre), Alexis Angot (Ynsect) and Roel Boersma (Protix).

“Growing of insects can be fully considered now as mini-livestock,” says Teun Veldkamp. “It requires multi-disciplinary approaches and EAAP as well as JIFF are essential institutions for science and industry.”


Legalization of insect based meal and the re-introduction of processed animal proteins in poultry feeds

The British Poultry Council (BPC) is calling for the legalization of insect based meal and the re-introduction of processed animal proteins in poultry feeds, as new government figures reveal that poultry feed prices are rising at a higher rate than prices of other livestock feeds.

According to the figures, released by the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, average compound feed prices for livestock in Great Britain rose by 75.7% for pig feed, 85.8% for cattle feed, 92.7% for sheep feed and 101.4% for poultry feed from January 2006 to June 2014.

“Poultry producers have seen the highest rise in feed since 2006 compared to other major livestock types. This is largely as a result of poultry meat consumption and production growing faster than other meats, but also due to EU constraints on certain feed sources,” Andrew Large, the BPC’s chief executive, told FeedNavigator.

He added: “Feed costs are rising as a combination of increased demand for feed, poor harvests in recent years and restrictions on what can be included in animal feed in the EU.”

Whilst little can be done to change market drivers such as rising energy prices, a growing global population and pressure on land use, Large insisted that the Government does have control over the range of options feed producers can access when preparing feeds.

“We therefore urge the Government to act to broaden the range of animal feeds that are available,” he said.

Removal of legislative barriers

In order for this to happen, Large acknowledged that legislative barriers needed to be removed at an EU level. “There are a large number of legislative challenges but the main two are the current ban on feeding animal proteins to farm animals and the ban on using both catering waste and manure as a substrate for growing insect larvae,” he said.

The use of processed animal protein (PAP) in farm animal feed was banned in the European Union in 2001, amid fears about its contribution to mad cow disease.

There have since been discussions at an EU level about relaxing the ban to allow the feeding of PAP derived from non-ruminants to non-ruminants of a different species. The use of PAP is now permitted in fish feed, and discussions remain ongoing for pig and poultry.

The BPC supports the re-introduction of PAP in poultry feeds, subject to strict controls.

“The main challenge is ensuring a reliable test is in place to prevent same species material and ruminant material finding its way into poultry feed,” said Large.

Another measure that the BPC believes would keep feed prices in check is the removal of legislative barriers to the use of insect based meals.