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Novel insect protein approved for the US pet food market

August 12 2021 - News

Last week, AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) voted to include adult dogs among the animals for which the ingredients whole dried black soldier fly larvae and black soldier fly larvae meal are suitable. This means that pet food manufacturers in the United States can now start using these novel ingredients in dog food and treats.

Insects are an interesting alternative to traditional animal proteins. Alternatives to traditional ingredients of animal origin need to be sustainable, pure, of high quality, and cost-effective to have a place in tomorrow’s pet food industry. Black soldier fly (hermetia illucens) larvae meet these criteria. Although it is of animal origin, insect protein has a much lower ecological impact than traditional animal protein. The only insect species currently commercially viable for pet food applications is black soldier fly (larvae and meal).

Increasing demand for proteins

IQI Trusted Petfood Ingredients believes that the production of insect protein is important to keep up with increasing worldwide demand. Together with its supplier Entobel, IQI offers a unique portfolio of insect fat, dried proteins and frozen insects from black soldier fly (BSF) production for use in pet food.­ The insects are processed into different products, including good-quality and sustainable insect meal and insect oil. Having supplied the European market for several years, IQI will now introduce BSF larvae and meal onto the US market.

Future demand for insect protein

Earlier this year, IQI provided input to a report by the Dutch Rabobank on trends in the pet food industry and in particular those relating to the increasing future demand for insect protein. According to Rabobank, because of the sustainability aspects and functional benefits, there is great potential to develop specialized ingredients and products from insect protein for a variety of applications. IQI supports the report’s main conclusion that demand for insect protein, mainly as an animal feed and pet food ingredient, could reach half a million metric tons by 2030, compared to today’s market of approximately 10,000 metric tons.

Pet food is predicted to become the second largest category of insect protein production by 2030, surpassed only by aquaculture. The approval of BSF larvae and BSF meal for the US pet food market is an important step in this direction. AAFCO approval of BSF ingredients for use in cat food is expected in 2022.

IQI’s portfolio of pure insect protein: https://www.iqi-petfood.com/product/premium-meal-insects/

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