While we discuss the scarcity of many food resources, some companies found an unconventional solution: breeding insects. Insects are a valuable food for humans and animal feed, in addition they are useful for fertilization and medical materials. If we combine all those applications, we have a clear image of how insect farming will be relevant in the future. Forecasts say that insect agriculture will rapidly grow at a annual rate of 27.8%, and is predicted to be worth €6,6 billion by 2030. For now, insect agriculture has already attracted major investors (McDonalds, Upfront Ventures, FootPrint Coalition and more).
Let’s have a look at 4 “mini sized-livestock farming” Dutch companies that are putting insects on the menu.
An alternative to fish and soy proteins
Protix is the market leader when it comes to scalable insect breeding. They breed black soldier flies (hermetia illucens), an exclusive source of protein for humans and animals. Those larvae are a good alternative to fish- and soy meal proteins, since their breeding puts less pressure on ecosystems. For its insect farming, Protix uses high-tech solutions, including artificial intelligence, genetic improvement programs and robotics. Recently, the company won the Dutch Innovation award 2020.
The highly nutritious insect
Protifarm believes “eating insects will be the new normal”. The Dutch company produces AdalbaPro, an innovative ingredient made from the buffalo beetle (Alphitobius diaperinus). This is an insect with exceptional nutritional value. In April, Paris-based Ynsect acquired Protifarm, a huge step for the insect protein trend. Another exciting news for Protifarm (but not only): the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) added mealworms in the list for safe novel human food.
Not only on the menu, but also as a biomass
Another Dutch company breeds black soldier flies. Bestico uses those insects as a scalable solution to convert biomass into feed-quality protein and oil. The final product is high in nutritional value, and it can also be used for fertilizing crops. All of this is done through advanced systems for controlled growing and processing of insects.
Burgers, saucijzenbroodjes and more
Burgs Foods aims to normalize the idea of including insects in our daily diet. The two founders Sander Peltenburg and George Brandenburg developed a “delicious and nutritious burger” made from crickets and also other insect products. Burgs Foods has recently raised fundings from the Unknown Group, and it intends to become a relevant food factory for insect processing that are human-edible.
From funding stages that go from seed and series B, these companies are growing fast. They all found an eco-friendly alternative to traditional livestock, since insect farming requires less land, water, and feed.
At ScaleUpNation we believe that these solutions will only move the needle if they scale. That’s why we created ScaleUpFood, a platform for food & agriculture ventures that are ready to scale their innovative solutions to solve societal problems. Does that sound like you? We would be happy to connect and discuss how we can be partners in your scaling journey. Get in touch with our team.