ForFarmers participates in research in safe sustainable use of insects as alternative source of protein and fat

29 April 2016

The use of insects in animal feed and human food can be a sustainable alternative to other sources of protein and fat. Especially when certain supermarket residues (out of date products) can be used as insect feed in the future. For that reason ForFarmers participates in a research of Wageningen UR. The purpose of this research is to be able to guarantee the quality of insects for use in animal feed and/or human food. The researchers are looking at, for example, any possible build-up and/or secretion of chemicals by insects following the use of new raw materials in insect feed.

By-products from the human food and drinks industries are widely used as animal feed ingredients.  As a result, they play an important role in the sustainable production of high quality protein.  However, legislation means that not all potential by-products can be used. For example certain products from supermarkets that are out of date are not allowed to be used as feed ingredients so these products are either used in biomass plants or disposed of as waste.

The goal of this project is to grow insects safely using these waste streams. In particular, the study will look at whether there is any possible accumulation of some micronutrients or secretion of certain compounds by the insects.  The potential is for insects to either be consumed directly by humans or used as a feed ingredient which is high in protein and oil so particularly useful in young  animal feed.  This could lead to a highly sustainable source of quality protein.

Besides ForFarmers and Wageningen UR,  partners in this study are the insect producers Proti-Farm R&D BV, Protix Biosystems and Koppert Biological Systems. ForFarmers participates in this project by offering knowledge and experience in the field of feed consumption. In addition to contributions from these companies, the project is being financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands through the AgriFood Top Sector.