Door opening in the EU for insect protein for poultry

19-02-2018 | | |
Door opening in the EU for insect protein for poultry Photo: Shutterstock
Door opening in the EU for insect protein for poultry Photo: Shutterstock

Hopes are rising that the European Commission will next year give the green light for insect proteins to be used in poultry feed.

The growing optimism follows comments by EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, who told a recent conference that the Commission was looking to authorise the use of insect proteins in feed for poultry – and possibly pigs – next year.

New proteins needed

Speaking at the first international conference on insects for feed and food, he said he believed new proteins were needed, but regulation and technical matters had to be sorted first before this resource could be tapped.

“You are part of this solution – I count on you,” he told the conference, organised by the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF).

Insect protein approved for aquafeed

The move follows the authorisation of insect proteins in aquafeed in July 2017. Current authorisation is limited to 7 insect species, including 3 types of cricket, 2 types of mealworm, and 2 fly species.

Interest in Europe is growing in the potential of insect feed. Insect producer Protix has announced it is joining forces with Hendrix Genetics, a global poultry and other species genetics company, to develop an insect breeding programme.

Symposium: Edible Insects: The value chain

The latest issues are to be addressed at a 2-day symposium on ‘Edible Insects: the value chain’, which is to be held at Ede-Wageningen, Netherlands on 21-22 March to celebrate 10 years of insect research.

Topics under discussion will include insect rearing, insect processing, insects in the food and feed industry, insect nutrition and health and rearing and processing as well as a section on consumers and society.

The popularity of insect meal as a new protein has taken off – find out about new developments, regulations and innovations.

Wageningen University is currently advertising for 2 PhD students to work on a project aiming to assess the potential benefits of insect-based feeding strategies for the environmental impact of pork and poultry meat production and for pig and broiler welfare.

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Tony Mcdougal Freelance Journalist