Prime 5 soybean meal alternate options: 3. Insect meal


This is the third in a row in the top 5 most promising soybean meal alternatives we’ll be debuting in the next few weeks in terms of protein profile, availability, sustainability, and more. This week we are looking at insect meal.

Soybean meal (SBM) is an excellent source of protein for many livestock species and is currently the most common protein component in compound feed for pigs, poultry and dairy cows. However, because the price of SBM fluctuates and can be very high, farmers are actively looking for ingredients that can serve as full or partial substitutes.

Insect meal

Insect meal is a growing alternative to other feed protein sources like SBM. It is nutritious, economical, and can be produced locally. Insect meals can contain up to 80% protein as well as fatty acids and antimicrobial peptides. In particular, black soldier fly meal contains much more lipids and calcium than SBM. It is particularly suitable to feed some livestock species such as some fish and poultry with insect protein, as insects are a natural source of food for their wild counterparts.

Since insects consume food waste, this protein ingredient is very sustainable and insect meal is therefore referred to as “circular economy feed”. Insect meal production for a variety of livestock sectors is ramping up in Europe, North America, Australia and beyond, but it will be some time before capacities increase significantly.

Processed animal proteins

As of July 2021, it was expected that the European Commission would not identify any health risk from the approval of processed animal proteins (PAP) from pigs and insects to poultry, lifting a long-standing ban.

The EU is one step closer to using PAPs in animal feed
The use of processed animal proteins (PAPs) from poultry and pigs in animal feed comes one step closer in EU statistics. Continue reading…

Feeding insects

When feeding the insects themselves, only certain animal products are allowed. For example, the use of brain and nervous system material is banned in Europe and other parts of the world to prevent the potential transmission of zoonotic diseases. From mid-2021, according to the EU-based International Platform for Food and Feed, insects that are produced as feed may be fed with plant material, but also with milk, eggs, milk or egg products, honey and rendered fat or blood products of non-ruminants.

The Green Deal and the future of insect food
The International Insect Platform for Food and Feed (IPIFF) is responding to the impact of the Green Deal on the future of insects in feed. Continue reading…

Although insect meal has enormous potential, experts say more studies are needed to determine whether production is sustainably profitable. In addition, greater promotion of insect meal as a feed ingredient is needed to increase consumer interest and acceptance.

1. Rapeseed meal
2. Impulse
3. Insect meal