Black Soldier Fly Derived Protein and Single Cell Proteins Nominated as Potential Pig and Poultry Feed

An expert group has nominated Black Soldier Fly (BSF) derived single cell protein and protein from bacteria sources as two products showing potential as new feeds for pigs and poultry. The framing and academia representatives participated in this group which is run under EIP-AGRI. The representatives were charged with generating an alternative sources and strategies for feeds for poultry and feeds, including both underused and new ones.

According to Lars Henrik Heckmann, the head of section, insect and protein technology at Danish Technological Institute, in terms of the algae, the group has not highlighted a species but have narrowed down to microalgae from accessing both micro and macro algae. Meanwhile, in relation to the insects, the group was very specific about species.

The feed ingredient that has been focused by the group have various advantages and disadvantages, which depends on the development stage. The proposal by focus groups on feed is likely to be taken to the operational groups that are operated regionally across Europe and funded by the Rural Development Program. Meanwhile, in terms of the production of these new feed components, there is a need to close the knowledge gap between academia and industry groups in order to ensure progress.

The lack of data on the nutritional requirement of Black Soldier Fly was described as one of the research gaps by some of the stakeholders. There is no nutritional norm for BSF, as there are for poultry and pigs. Hence, it is important to know what micronutrients, and amino acid requirements are of the Black Soldier fly. Moreover, according to some stakeholders, reliable tools to provide quick identification of the nutrient value of the new feedstuffs is also needed. Both the groups in the context of identifying and predicting the nutritional value of the feed sample mentioned NIR technology that uses near infra-red light.

The group also found it necessary to conduct research to get an idea on the optimum inclusion level of the novel products in poultry and pig feeds and to qualify gamut of the nutritional effects provided by new feeds. Pricing is considered as an important part in the feed innovation. Thus feed materials with a high level of micronutrients or various health benefits are being priced at a higher level as compared to the feed materials rich in protein. However, the starting paper by EIP-AGRI highlighted that the feed material with high or moderate protein will have to be priced at the level of fishmeal or soybean meal price in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market.

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Growing awareness among livestock business is driving the demand for animal feed micronutrients. Feed micronutrients are also being used on a large scale to ensure optimal growth of the animal and to obtain high quality products. In recent years, animal feed micronutrients market has witnessed increasing demand in aquaculture practices owing to the increasing global consumption of fish and seafood. The animal feed micronutrient market is projected to provide incremental opportunity of US$ 477 million by the end of 2026. Increasing initiatives by organizations in improving livestock farming and high production of the animal feed compound in Europe is driving the growth of animal feed micronutrients in the region. Moreover, ongoing research on the new feed micronutrients in the region is also contributing significantly to the growth of the animal feed production in Europe.

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