Insects as a source of protein for animal feed
- A new market
- Virtuous production
- Two models
- France at the cutting edge
- Managing uncertainty
With the global population and demand for proteins growing steadily, insects are considered – notably by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – a promising future food resource for both humans and livestock. In France, large-scale projects to produce insect flour for use in animal feed are proliferating. Let's try to throw some light on this emerging sector.
One argument for the use of insect protein in animal feed lies in the details of how insect protein is produced. Compared with plant protein (for example soya), insect protein requires considerably less space and water to produce a given quantity of protein. Another factor highlighted by promoters of insect protein is the circular economy; insects are fed with by-products from cereal or the agri-food industry, which means waste can be limited through the use of elements that would otherwise go largely unused. Lastly, insects are used to produce not only protein but also insect oil rich in fatty acid (used in livestock feed) and fertiliser for the agricultural sector.Arnaud REY, Ingénieur-Conseil