Aqua Feed

The Future of Aqaufeed

BSF production efficiency for a more affordable insect meal

Production costs and insect meal prices can be reduced to allow a more rapid scale-up and wide use in aqua feeds.

Breeding insects from residual streams holds great promise for sustainable aquaculture production. Traditionally, fishmeal has been used to raise aquatic organisms such as fish, shellfish and crustaceans.

However, products made from Black Soldier Fly larvae can be used to replace fish meal for the production of fish feed, as its high protein content makes it very suitable for aquaculture purposes.

Preventing overfishing with BSF larvae

Currently, carnivorous fish such as salmon and tuna rely on diets of fishmeal and fish oil, which are mostly derived from wild fish stocks. About 20% of the total wild catch worldwide is processed and fed back to farmed fish. This leads to great pressure on wild fish, resulting in major environmental problems. Research has shown that Black Soldier Flies are an adequate solution to this problem. Trout and salmon-fed larvae of Black Soldier Flies have been found to grow as fast as fish raised on a traditional fishmeal diet. Replacing fish feed and fish oil with Black Soldier Fly larvae removes dependence on wild stocks, revolutionizing the aquaculture industry.

Insect meal has been proven to be a good protein source to be added to the raw material basket in aquafeed mills. Being only a few years old, the insect industry is still on its path to scale.

High costs, and thus prices, limited production capacity and legislation are the main factors limiting the growth of the sector to comply with the potential demand.

How production costs and final insect meal prices can be reduced to allow a more rapid scale-up and wide use, especially in aquafeeds? It depends on many factors, but mostly on the improvement and reduction of insect production costs. In the early stages, insect production was small scaled but it has moved to an automated, technology-driven industry with more efficient insect farms.

High costs, and thus prices, limited production capacity and legislation are the main factors limiting the growth of the sector to comply with the potential demand.

One of the potential issues during the production process is preventing pathogens. The good news is that black soldier fly has a very strong immune system highly resistant to pathogens, which is one of the reasons this species is being widely used in the industry.

Within this industry, there are still many opportunities to explore, in all stages of the value chain. With more players operating at large capacity, we expect the production costs to decrease so that the insect protein price achieves more competitive prices. We expect insect protein to move from a niche to a commodity ingredient in the next few years, with aquafeed, pet food and poultry still dominating as the main markets.

The main species currently being grown is the black soldier fly which have a very fast growth cycle and are very resistant to pathogens.

Black Soldier Fly

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Black Soldier Fly

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