IPIFF is convinced that insects may soon constitute a reliable alternative or addition to fishmeal and soy in feed formulae for aquaculture and/or livestock animals. Recent ‘regulatory opportunities’ opened by the EU legislator (i.e. aqua feed authorisation as from 1st July 2017) and possible further relaxation of EU rules in the future (e.g. authorisation of insect proteins for poultry and pig markets) should provide operators with the visibility needed to invest and increase production volumes. The economy of scale generated would then contribute to whittle down (or even absorb) the price gap with major sources of protein for animal feed.
IPIFF does not, however, consider that the total replacement of major sources such as soy meal is realistic: whilst insects may become a major additional source of protein for species such as pig & poultry animals, it cannot totally substitute to vegetal components of their diet, due to significant differences in terms of nutrient and/or amino acid profile. Instead, alternative vegetal proteins sources (e.g. peas, field peas or lupine) are best suited to replace soy content in the ration of these animals.
Insect nutritional characteristics (e.g. protein content, amino acid profile and/or digestibility levels) are however more comparable to those of fishmeal products, making them a more pertinent substitute in the diet of certain fish species (e.g. trout or Atlantic Salmon) or shellfish (e.g. shrimps).