Insects do have a lot going for them as a protein source. Farming insects could limit the land use requirement for animal feed production, freeing up land to grow crops for human consumption. Further, insects can be fed on organic waste and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock industry by 50% by 2050. And the European industry interest organisation, International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF)1 , states that insects can contain up to 82% protein and have a diverse amino acid profile.
“The high content of digestible protein in insect larvae (in dry form) makes them a potent solution to improving protein self-sufficiency in animal feed,” states Joash Mathew, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager at IPIFF. He adds: “Insects as feed have the advantage of already being a part of fish, poultry or swine animal diets. Numerous trials and studies on the impact of insects and their derived ingredients on the Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) of animals reflect the positive outcomes associated with their inclusion in fish, poultry, or swine animal diets.”
The cost of changing to a new nutritional profile
However, one of the major barriers to use of any protein alternatives appears to be the different nutritional profile and the cost of accommodating this into the animal feed production, particularly in handling the anti-nutritional elements.