Part of EuroTier: 12 - 15 November 2024, Hanover
Pioneering new ways of farm & food
Controlled Environment Agriculture – global food security through new agricultural production systems is one of the central tasks of the future. "Inhouse Farming - Feed & Food Show" is the DLG's new platform for the agricultural and food systems of the future. Closely networked with agricultural practice, it offers technical information, perspectives, innovations and business - from feed to food.
Insects have been eaten by human beings around the globe for millennia. In the European Union, they are regarded as a novel food and consumers’ opinions range between curiosity and disgust.
However, a market surrounding the topic of insects has long since emerged. Besides delicious-tasting products, it also offers an array of new business models in agriculture, inhouse farming and the food industry.
Insects are increasingly being used as an alternative source of protein in food and feed production. Above all, mealworms, locusts, grasshoppers and black soldier flies are used in insect breeding.
The most frequently used insect species are:
Mealworms have a high protein content of around 50% and are rich in fat and calcium. Locusts and grasshoppers contain approximately 60% protein and are also rich in iron and vitamins. The black soldier fly is a no less promising species of insect, as its larvae grow very quickly and have a high fat content, thereby making it an ideal source of protein for animal feed production.
Various technological methods are used in insect breeding. The majority of breeding farms use vertical breeding systems that enable large numbers of insects to be produced in a small space. In this process, the insects are bred in self-contained rooms to ensure optimum temperature and humidity control. Although these animals appear to be so small, several tonnes of proteins and by-products such as fertilisers are already being produced in the systems that are currently available.
Some of the important companies in the field of insect breeding include Entomo Farms, Protix, Ynsect or made by made, for instance, which successfully presented their products at the last EuroTier trade fair.
Entomo Farms is a Canadian company that is specialised in breeding mealworms and grasshoppers for food production. Protix is a Dutch company that is focused on breeding black soldier flies for animal feed production. Ynsect is a French company that is specialised in breeding mealworms and grasshoppers for animal feed production.
Insects offer a promising option for supplying high-quality, alternative proteins for food and feed production. Insect breeding is a sustainable alternative to conventional animal production, as it requires less space and fewer resources and emits fewer greenhouse gases. Insects are a valuable source of protein with vitamin B and can also be used as food supplements and in the cosmetics industry.
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