Millions of Tons of Insects for Animal Feed by 2030 for Hyper-efficient Food Sources

Insects are naturally eaten by many animals such as carnivorous fish, poultry and pigs. Insects are 50% to 82% protein and can be added to animal feed – with up to 40% insect content for fish feed and 30% for chicken feed. Fish farming, or aquaculture, is expected to provide 62% of the global fish supply by 2030. Above 5,000 tonnes of insect protein have been commercialized by European insect producers in total, since the authorization of insect proteins for use in aqua feed. Today, the aqua feed market uses more than 50% of European animal feed made from insects and this will increase at over 20% per year.

There has been over half a billion invested in dozens of insect farming and insect feed production companies.

Insects are projected to provide 3 to 5 million tons of protein for animal feed by 2030 for Europe alone.

Insects can be raised with almost no water, hundreds of times less land and with far less environmental impact.

Aquaculture still uses fishmeal, which is made up of wild-caught fish. 25% of global fishing is used to provide fish farms with feed.

Ÿnsect has raised over $160 million and they say they will build the largest insect farm in the world in northern France. The first phase of the farm will produce 20,000 tonnes of insect protein a year.

The factory will use a combination of sensor technology, automation, data analysis and predictive modeling to measure and respond to temperature, insects’ growth curve, and weight, and Co2 emissions.

AgriProtein, the UK-South African venture that’s farming black soldier fly and has raised over $130 million to-date. AgriProtein focuses on using food waste to feed its insects.

Canada’s Enterra Feed is also growing black soldier fly for animal feed and says it is building the world’s largest insect farm.

EnviroFlight, a Midwestern company that was acquired by Intrexon, says it has the biggest black soldier fly factory in the US.

Netherlands-based Protifarm raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding to scale up its farm in Ermelo, in eastern Netherlands. They will begin exporting its beetle-based tofu and protein powders to ingredients buyers outside of Europe. Protifarm’s CEO Tom Mohrmann says the round was well above $10 million.

Agritech start-ups Nutrition Technologies and Protenga make insect-based protein for fish and animal feed out of black soldier fly larvae (BSF). The baby insects have gained popularity for breaking down food waste much quicker than other organisms, making the composting process a lot faster.

The larvae has gotten the attention of the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), which has approved their use as fish food. It also recognizes the insect’s practicality in the food chain.

Nutrition Technologies recently secured an $8.5 million Series A led by Openspace Ventures and SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore (ESG), in yet another sign of growing support in Southeast Asia for innovation in the alt-protein tech space.

The funds will be used to set up the largest high-tech commercial-scale insect protein production facility in Southeast Asia, which aims to produce over 18,000 tonnes of insect-based feed ingredients and organic fertilizers every year.

Agriprotein is building North America’s first network of nutrient-recycling plants to reduce waste to landfill, while profitably producing a sustainable and natural protein to replace fishmeal in animal feed.

Agriprotein’s ten-year goals are to:

Create 15 sustainable, profit center factories producing animal protein, bio-oil and organic fertiliser from organic waste;
Make a material impact into North American fishmeal consumption;
Cut CO2 emissions by the equivalent of 500,000 tonnes;
Divert one million tonnes of organic waste into nutrient recycling; and
Improve food security in North America

SOURCES- Ynsect, Agfundernews, http://www.bijouconcierge.co.uk/, International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

55 thoughts on “Millions of Tons of Insects for Animal Feed by 2030 for Hyper-efficient Food Sources”

  1. Hmmm, but what if the alkaloids are beneficial? Everything else about the plant is healthful from vitamin content, to fatty acid ratio.

    Reply
  2. If you think that’s something, Canadians(which I’m fond of) eat maple syrup on nearly everything but their doughnuts, and sometimes even on them!

    Reply
  3. Well, any proper pancake meal has both, and they sort of mix somewhat. There’s also bacon cured in a maple burning smokehouse.

    Reply
  4. I believe Kale is commonly eaten in northern europe. It’s mentioned in the diary of anne frank.
    I prefer the dwarf varieties, the only sort I grow. I particularly like the frilly, blueish colored scottish, and russian varieties which are tender enough for salad greens.
    They can be grown in the cool season(s) of any temperate area. They are more tender, and I believe more cold hearty than commodity kale. I sow rows to form solid patch two or three feet wide, and pick the whole season. You must pick the flower buds, which are really delicate small broccoli heads, or the plants will seed, and die.

    Reply
  5. I’m happy to eat any of the other cruciferous vegetables, (except I haven’t encountered Kale which google tells me is popular in the USA)

    And I did know that they are all different deliberate breeds of the same base plant. Originally grown for the oil seeds apparently. Then presumably, during a famine, someone tried eating the leaves of their oil seed plant and “Hey… guys…”

    Reply
  6. the variety was kept alive all those centuries by a conspiracy of masochists?

    This is the same Brussels that runs the EU? Makes sense then.

    Reply
  7. I am just fine with insects used to feed animals even cats and dogs. My cats catch and eat bugs all the time. However, when it comes to my plate…hold the grubs please.
    However, I do think there are alternatives to the warmblooded animals we normally eat, that are viable. I think with some genetic modification we can produce reptile meat: alligator/crocodile (modified to grow quickly and small mouth large tale), turtle (again modified to grow quickly), and iguana (modified, however these are already farmed for food. supposed to taste fine but be a bit tough…genetic modification could fix that). The point is that coldblooded animals are 10x more efficient because they are not turning food into heat to warm themselves. Of course, we need for them to eat voraciously and grow very fast to be viable.
    Lobster farming is becoming popular. That is an arthropod, many people enjoy, which is not that different than insects.
    They could probably farm slugs for animal feed as well. Chickens should love that.

    Reply
  8. Ultimately, what matters the most is what you can feed them and what the conversion efficiency is.
    Insects that eat low quality, high volume, plant matter (grasses, wood) and convert it at a favorable rate, will be the best choice in the long run.
    Termites?

    Reply
  9. From what I understand your tastebuds change from when you are young to an adult. If you hated Brussels Sprouts as a child give them a try again. Just don’t boil them. I pan fry mine in butter. Yummy.

    Reply
  10. It is funny now but don’t be surprised if they are on the menu along with your McCoffee in the future. Of course in ‘Murica they will be coated in chocolate and sprinkled with Pumpkin Pie spice.

    Reply
  11. No chance of infectious prions coming from insects. The biggest risk is from animals eating meat of their own species.

    Besides cows already ingest a lot of bugs while grazing, making it more purposeful won’t change the fact of already occurring exposure to these additional sources of protein.

    Reply
  12. I had to laugh at that one. Like people weren’t eating Brussels sprouts 20 years ago and enjoying them. Did Randal think the variety was kept alive all those centuries by a conspiracy of masochists?

    The real story there would be an ideal XKCD comic: Brussels sprouts tasted good to some people, and bad to others, based on a gene; The chemical they engineered out of them doesn’t actually taste bitter to half the population of the Earth.

    Reply
  13. If you mean single-family small, it’s not all that hard. A wooden crate, lined with corncons, filled with compost, and a dirt-covered ramp are all you need for black soldier flies. They’ll even crawl right into the collecting bucket for you!

    What’s really needed for meaningful impact is industrial-scale production (see above).

    Reply
  14. I guess we could be more efficient and just eat the crickets directly and skip the chicken as the middleman. So McCrickets anyone?

    Reply
  15. Tastiness would help, too. In fact, that would be the clincher, make a die-for snack food from the stuff that is deep fried in oil and heavy in salt (anti-nutritious like most American food) and it would catch on.

    Reply
  16. The xkcd comic for last Friday, 2241, was about the 15 y.o. non-bitter brussel sprout cultivar. Can’t link or my post will disappear.

    Reply
  17. I’d eat cricket burgers if they were a better value than beef, so I think there would be a market for it. Just get the price down and preferably nutritive value up and it’ll sell.

    Reply
  18. What would really be helpful is a reasonably small, easily maintained bioreactor to turn vegetation into insects. It would likely be popular with small poultry producers.

    Reply
  19. If you were hungry enough, you’d be begging for cricket burgers. Ever been really hungry? Ever gone for a few days with no food?
    Try it some time, you’ll be amazed at the things you formerly turned up your nose at, that are now delicious!

    Reply
  20. Gee, do you reckon those cows ever pick up a few insects, spiders, or annelids while snapping up huge mouthfuls of grass in their pastures? Cows, and humans for that matter have always eaten insects as part of the fruits, seeds, and vegetables in their diets.
    Cows would never be fed solely on this stuff, their economic advantage over other mammals as livestock, is that their symbiotic rumen bacteria allow them to digest cellulose. Insect meal would be a protein supplement.
    Howler monkeys eat only fruit in the wild, but do not survive in captivity eating only commercially grown fruit. This is because there are no insects, or at least not enough insects in commercially grown fruit. Bring on the bugs!!!

    Reply
  21. Come on Dr Pat, Brussel sprouts taste great, both raw, and cooked. I eat them, and their cruciferous kin in my battle against my family history of cancer. I even grow my own kale, broccoli, and sometimes cabbage.

    BTW did you know that BS(lol), broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, kohlrabi and cabbage are all the same plant, changed beyond recognition by the hubris of humans playing God, using evil, and scary genetic engineering(selective breeding) over millennia? I hope these vegetables never turn against us and take over the planet!

    Pretty cool, eh?

    Reply
  22. The insectivores probably need a diverse insect source. Feed thema single type of insect, and they could have a problem (just guessing).

    Reply
  23. you know those free range chickens and wild-caught trouts that you pay a premium for over industrially raised ones? Insects are exactly what they eat in the wild and what makes them premium. It doesn’t sound that much of a sacrifice on their side or ours 😉

    Reply
  24. I had a startup in the field: developed proprietary technology and even managed to build a small scale factory (50 tons/year), but later had to shut down for lack of funding. In order to be profitable you really have to have large scale, which implies pretty big funding, which unfortunately I didn’t manage to obtain at the time (in capital-deprived Italy). I sold the assets and went on with another startup, which turned out a bit more successful. However, the business case is solid and in the short term future I might give it another try: I have the possibility to purchase back all the machinery from the original buyer (another entrepreneur who ultimately didn’t get the funding he needed) and restart this business, perhaps in another location either in Europe or South-East Asia or even North America. If any of the readers has an interest in the field, please reach out, I’d be happy to discuss the topic.

    Reply
  25. Termites have quite a pleasant flavour. Rather nutty.

    But then, so do deep fried silk worms that I had in China.

    Actually, I’m prepared to eat just about anything if it is well prepared. I mean not Brussel Sprouts, but anything within reason.

    Reply
  26. Insects probably cannot provide a complete source of food for any animal,

    There’s heaps of insectivore animals.
    Unless you mean none of the normal livestock animals… though I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the birds would be OK with it (turkeys? chickens? quail?) .

    Still, we could start growing echidnas or aardvarks…

    Reply
  27. You have zero clue what you are talking about. Infected brain matter was fed to cows. That’s why they got mad cow disease. It’s not because they didn’t have a diet similar to their ancestors. Garbage in garbage out.

    Reply
  28. I don’t see insect products becoming a primary source of protein in Western diets. However, as a low-cost, low-impact input for other high-value animals, it is ideal. I don’t think we’ll care that our salmon and chicken ate some insects; after all, we feed our beef cow brains!

    Reply
  29. This isn’t for cows. It’s much more efficient to use the raw feedstock to produce plant material (algae) instead. Insects are for animals that benefit from an omnivorous diet with improved outcomes.

    This is critical for high-value animals that require a source of animal protein, like salmon.

    Insects probably cannot provide a complete source of food for any animal, that’s why you see the percentages in the article. If it can replace >50% of fishmeal for aquafarming then it’s very much a net-positive.

    Reply
  30. Cows need to eat food closely resembling the food that their ancestors ate. There will be consequences if they eat something that is not part of their natural diet. Mad Cow disease, remember?

    Reply
  31. Cricket flower has been around for a while and poking around again after 10 years some of the companies selling it are also selling cooked whole crickets in semi-bulk but it sure isn’t commodity pricing yet.

    Reply
  32. China has been doing interesting work on insect production actually. The focus usually is on high value “medicinal” types, but the scale is comparable to bulk protein producers elsewhere.

    Though when they get some GMO single cell protein producing bacteria to start producing cockroach milk protein in bulk is when things go into overdrive. Sorta like those SCP/mycelium bioreactors fed on methane making stuff like Quorn.

    http://journals.iucr.org/m/issues/2016/04/00/jt5013/

    Reply
  33. About 10 years ago I stumbled across flavored crickets in one of those main street novelty stores and was so impressed I tried to find a bulk supplier of edible crickets but there was just nothing on the market. I ended up buying 1k live adult ones from fluker farms to try out. You let them go hungry for a day or two to fully evacuate them, pick out the dead ones, and freeze the rest. It is a little bit of a hassle, the containers smell and the inevitable escapees will roam your home. Besides boiling which I didn’t try the easiest way to prepare them is saute them with oil and spices. I’m looking forward to them being more mainstream. Scorpions are pretty amazing too but good luck finding a bulk supplier.

    Reply
  34. If you used termites, you could use wood fiber from trash paper as your insect feed. That’s every true engineer’s dream, to turn a waste stream into a resource. You really can’t beat that. I think some cockroaches can digest cellulose too, with the correct symbiotic bacteria.

    Reply

Leave a Comment