Feed production of the future: The potential of insects as an alternative source of protein

Feed production of the future: The potential of insects as an alternative source of protein
30 April 2024

The "Inhouse Farming – Feed & Food Show 2024" in Hanover, Germany, slated from November 12 to 15, will explore industrial insect breeding's potential as a sustainable solution to the global challenge of feeding a growing population. Organized by the DLG (German Agricultural Society), the event will spotlight technologies and solutions demonstrating how insects can be economically utilized to produce protein-rich animal feed. Prof. Nils Borchard, DLG's Head of Research and Development, sees insects as pivotal to the circular economy, offering valuable nutrients in a resource-efficient manner.

Among insect species, black soldier fly larvae stand out for their high protein content, comparable to soya bean meal, making them ideal for animal feed. Companies like Big Dutchman are investing in insect farming technologies, with subsidiaries like Better Insect Solutions specializing in providing complete farming solutions. The Enorm Biofactory in Denmark exemplifies large-scale insect farming, utilizing regional food industry waste as feed and producing insect protein and oil, which have shown promising results in animal trials.

Discussions at the event will extend to utilizing insects and their by-products in various sectors, including food production, meat substitutes, and cosmetics, with a focus on reducing production costs and promoting sustainability. Start-ups and research institutions are also exploring automated breeding systems to scale up insect production efficiently.

Companies like WEDA Dammann & Westerkamp are developing feeding technologies to optimize the breeding process and increase larval output. Overall, the event aims to highlight industrial insect breeding's potential as a sustainable solution for meeting the global demand for animal feed while promoting resource efficiency and circularity in agriculture.

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