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Animal Feed

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BSFL Forms

Typically, larvae are dehydrated and can be fractionated into protein concentrate (“defatted”) meal and oil and incorporated into manufactured pelleted feeds.

Better Feed Ingredients

Animal feeds traditionally contain plant and animal-based proteins and oils, such as soybean meal and oil, fish meal and fish oil, and more, often carrying significant environmental footprints.

Market Opportunity

The market opportunity for insect ingredients is massive, with Rabobank projecting demand for 500,000 metric tons (mt) by 2030.

Birds eat bugs.

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💡 Insect proteins offer health and welfare benefits to poultr. 🐓

 

🐛 Insects offer immunity improvements in poultry and livestock, supporting health and reducing the need for antibiotics.

🐔 Insect farming could be a practical, economical and sustainable approach to create an alternative high-value protein produced for use in poultry feed. Insect proteins also offer immunity improvements in poultry and livestock, supporting health and reducing the need for antibiotics.

🐣 In the wild, poultry will naturally eat insects, considered to be a protein-rich food source high in energy such as lauric acid, a C-12 saturated fatty acid with demonstrated value-added, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. 

🐓 The use of insects to bioconvert by-products from other food production, like food waste, manure and other agricultural waste streams, could potentially minimize waste and upcycle nutrients, improving the sustainability of the poultry supply chain. 

 

💡The short lifecycles of insects – typically less than 50 days – and ability to thrive on a variety of feedstocks make it an easy protein source to produce.

🔍 Full article: https://www.wattagnet.com/articles/44072-insect-proteins-offer-health-welfare-benefits-to-poultry

Fish eat bugs.

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📈The insect feed protein market is expected to reach half a million tonnes in 2030.

🐾 By then, the pet food sector is projected to take 30% and aquaculture 40% of the total insect protein volumes.

👍 The insect industry is committed to ambitious targets that will help mitigate climate change and build a more sustainable food system.

🪰 Insects are a healthy and sustainable source of protein for food and feed.

💡In addition, their frass can be used as a fertilizer, contributing to a circular economy model of production.

Pets eat bugs. 

🐶 Pet food demand for insect ingredients is increasingly driving demand.

🦗 Ex) cricket protein is a hypoallergenic alternative protein

🐾 Insects provide necessary nutritional benefits while still tasting delicious.

🐾 Rich in omega-3s, insect protein benefits dogs’ skin and coat health.

👍 It also is packed with prebiotic fiber, supporting a healthy gut and digestive system.

💡if considered their own country, USA pets would rank 5th in global meat consumption.

🤔 With over 64 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the environment from pet food production alone, the current system needs to change (source: chippin)

💡It only requires 1 gallon of water to produce 1 pound of cricket protein, whereas it takes around 2,000 gallons of water to produce the same amount of beef protein (source: chippin)

Livestock sustainability factors:

The difference in the environmental impact of pig, poultry, and beef products is due to three main factors: enteric CH4 production, reproduction rate, and food conversion efficiency. The yellow mealworm does not produce CH4. In addition, it has a high reproduction rate since the female T. molitor produces 160 eggs in her lifetime. In addition, the maturation period is short, as T. molitor reaches adulthood in 10 weeks.​

Source: An Analysis of the Ethical, Economic, and Environmental Aspects of Entomophagy (Cureus)

Food conversion effeciency:

  • Food conversion efficiency depends, among other things, on the diet supplied.

  • The food conversion ratio (FCR) of yellow mealworm concentrates (kg/kg fresh weight) is similar to the values reported for chickens but lower than for pigs and cattle [27].

  • Studies have compared different variables between insects and animal meat, and it has been observed that, in general, edible insects have a far lower environmental impact than livestock farming.

  • Caterpillar, locust, and cricket larvae emit 100 times fewer emissions and 10 times less ammonia than cattle and pigs. If insects were bred and consumed instead of cows, the current greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 10% [28].

Source: An Analysis of the Ethical, Economic, and Environmental Aspects of Entomophagy (Cureus)

Global warming potential (GWP):

  • The global warming potential (GWP) index of yellow mealworms per kg of edible protein is low compared to other products such as milk (1.51-3.87 higher), chicken (1.32-2.67 higher), pork (1.51-3.87 higher), or beef (5.52-12.51 higher).

  • Energy use in the production of the yellow mealworm per kg of edible protein is higher than that of milk (20%-83% of the value for the yellow mealworm) or chicken (46%-88%), similar to pork (55%-137% of the value for the yellow mealworm) and lower than that of beef.

  • The yellow mealworm is poikilothermic and depends on suitable environmental temperatures for its growth and development.

  • When ambient temperatures are low, they require warming, which increases energy consumption.

  • Mitigation measures are being investigated; the largest larvae in this system produce a surplus of metabolic heat, which could be used to warm small larvae that require heat.

Source: An Analysis of the Ethical, Economic, and Environmental Aspects of Entomophagy (Cureus)

Land use:

The land use of the production system described was very low compared to that of milk (1.81-3.23 times higher), poultry such as chicken (2.30-2.85 times higher), pork (2.57-3.49 times higher), and beef (7.89-14.12 times higher) [27]. The production of insects does not require a large area of land, and water use is minimal. The area of land needed to produce the same amount of protein has been estimated to be approximately 1 ha for yellow mealworms, 2-3.5 ha for pigs or poultry, and 10 ha for cattle.

Source: An Analysis of the Ethical, Economic, and Environmental Aspects of Entomophagy (Cureus)

Water use:

The growing demand for water worldwide threatens biodiversity, food production, and other vital human needs. For example, yellow mealworms are more drought-resistant than cattle [26].

Source: An Analysis of the Ethical, Economic, and Environmental Aspects of Entomophagy (Cureus)

Digestible biomass:

💡 “Digestible biomass” is an important sustainability metric for livestock.

  • 🐛 Insects ~ 80% digestible

  • 🐄🐖🐓 Other Livestock ~ 44 - 55% digestible

​💡 The replacement of meat with insects as the main source of protein could lead to the abandonment of 2,700 Mha of meadows and 100 Mha of farmland, which would result in large carbon sequestration of vegetation. In addition, nitrous oxide and methane emissions would decrease substantially.

Market
Species Group
Species
Benefit
Reference
Aquaculture
Salmonid
Atlantic salmon
Nutrition
Lock et al. (2016), Belghit et al. (2018), Belghit et al. (2019a), Belghit et al. (2019b)
Health and immunity
Li et al. (2019), Stenberg et al. (2019)
Rainbow trout
Nutrition
St-Hilaire et al. (2007), Sealey et al. (2011), Stamer et al. (2014), Renna et al. (2017), Bruni et al. (2018), Dumas et al. (2018), Mancini et al. (2018), Cardinaletti et al. (2019), Józefiak et al. (2019)
Health and immunity
Bruni et al. (2018), Dumas et al. (2018), Terova et al. (2019), Cardinaletti et al. (2019), Huyben et al. (2019), Józefiak et al. (2019), Rimoldi et al. (2019)
Shrimp
Whiteleg shrimp
Nutrition; health and immunity; growth and performance
Shin et al. (2021), Chen et al. (2021), Richardson et al. (2021), Wang et al. (2021)
Nutrition
Cummins Jr. et al. (2017), Usman et al. (2021)
Giant freshwater prawn
Nutrition
Amiruddin et al. (2021), Harin et al. (2021)
Freshwater finfish
Channel catfish
Nutrition
Bondari and Sheppard (1981)
African catfish
Nutrition
Talamuk (2016)
Yellow catfish
Nutrition; health and immunity; growth and performance
Hu et al. (2017), Xiao et al. (2018)
Nile tilapia
Nutrition; growth and performance
Rana et al. (2015), Muin et al. (2017), Teye-Gaga (2017), Devic et al. (2018)
Sturgeon
Nutrition
Caimi et al. (2020)
Carnivorous marine finfish
Barramundi
Nutrition; health and immunity
Katya et al. (2017), Hender et al. (2021)
European seabass
Nutrition
López (2015), Magalhães et al. (2017), Abdel-Tawwab et al. (2020)
Turbot
Nutrition
Kroeckel et al. (2012)
Poultry
Poultry
Chicken
Nutrition; health and immunity; growth and performance
Marono et al. (2017), Abd El-Hack et al. (2020), Ipema et al. (2020a), Ipema et al. (2020b)
Turkey
Nutrition; health and immunity; growth and performance
Veldkamp and van Niekerk (2019), Abd El-Hack et al. (2020)
Quail
Nutrition; health and immunity; growth and performance
Abd El-Hack et al. (2020)
Ducks
Nutrition; health and immunity; growth and performance
Abd El-Hack et al. (2020)
Swine
Pigs
Pig
Health and immunity
Ipema et al. (2021a), Ipema et al. (2021b)
Pet Food
Canine
Dog
Nutrition
Bosch and Swanson (2021), Freel et al. (2021)
Feline
Cat
Nutrition
Bosch and Swanson (2021)

Profound Impact

Over the past decade at Chapul, and my broader education of our food system, I have only increased my conviction that deliberately weaving insects into the broader fabric of agriculture is one of the most profound things we can do to redirect food and agriculture to a more circular, nature-based model.

- Pat Crowley, CEO