General Introduction

Overall context –  Insects as food and feed

Our planet faces huge challenges because of the growing population and increasing competition for scarce resources.

  • Whereas the global population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that the world needs to increase its food production by 70% by that time, mostly to feed such a growing population.
  • Meat consumption and demand is forecasted to increase by 72% between 2000 & 2030, whilst 60 MT proteins are forecasted to be missing by 2030 in order to meet the expected demand.
  • Animal feed production is increasingly competing for resources (land, water & fertilisers) with human food and/or fuel production. This contributes to increase the pressure on the environment (e.g. water supply, deforestation or soil decline in producing countries).

IPIFF and its Members believe that insects as food and feed are part of the solution.

Insects as food

insect bars production - Insects As Food & Feed

Whilst insects are already part of the staple diet of around 2.5 billion people worldwide, several indicators show that insects may soon become a widely accepted component of western societies diets, which includes Europe.

  • Insects contain nutrient levels which are particularly pertinent for human consumption by being particularly rich in protein, containing essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
  • Edible insects have a well-balanced nutrient profile to respond to human’s dietary needs.

Insects for animal feed

Key points also emerge from research studies indicating that insects have a number of features which make them well-suited for use in animal feed.

  • Insects contribute with a high protein contentment while being rich in other beneficial nutrients such as fats, minerals and vitamins.
  • Protein concentration levels in insect proteins intended for animal feed vary between 55% and 75%.
  • Insects are characterised by a higher feed conversion rate and so can become a highly valuable source of feed for farm animals (2013 FAO study; Wageningen UR Livestock Research, 2012).
  • Insects are a natural component of the diets of animals such as carnivorous fish, poultry and pigs (e.g. insects can provide up to 70% of the trout diet needs).
animal feed for fish