The production of the main raw materials for animal feed will no longer be sustainable in just a few years’ time. It is therefore important to find alternative, viable and sustainable sources of protein, such as insect meal.
What will happen by 2050.
It’s been established that over the next 30 years the global population will increase from the current 7 billion to around 9 billion people in 2050. The effects of this population increase will have a significant impact on food production for humans as well as feed for livestock. Specifically a larger population will increase the demand for food, which ultimately will increase the need for more land and water for the necessary crops.
As a result of rising incomes, urbanisation and man-made environmental pressures, the global food system, especially in developing countries, is undergoing a significant shift towards diets characterised by an increased consumption of animal products. That trend is only set to continue over the coming decades. By 2050 estimates are that dairy, poultry, pork and beef production would need to double, whilst aquaculture facilities will need to triple.
The need for alternative and sustainable protein sources.
Since the main raw materials used as protein sources for animal feed come mainly from industrial crops such as soybean, rapeseed, cotton, sunflower and fisheries, such an increase in demand will not be sustainable under current practices. The area currently devoted to animal production occupies about 75% of agricultural land or 30% of the ice-free area. In addition 8% of global water consumption is used to irrigate raw materials for feed, whilst 15% of fish catches are used to produce fishmeal for animal feed. Then 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions are due to the livestock sector. No less important is the economic impact of feed on animal production, which is around 60%.
As shown by the above data, an urgent modernisation and reorganisation of current agricultural systems is becoming a focal point to avert future food and economic crises. This rethink should take into account new raw materials for feed and alternative protein sources, capable of reducing both water and soil consumption, rendering the agricultural food system fully sustainable.
Insect meal, a sustainable alternative.
Looking forwards, insect larvae, insect meal and insect oils fit perfectly into this context. There are even insect species whose breeding greatly reduces the environmental impact compared to traditional protein sources, whilst being a valuable and rich source of protein for both livestock and pets.
These aspects of sustainability, naturalness and innovation could not go unnoticed by Garzanti Specialties, and we’ve found a valuable partner in Hermetia Baruth GmbH to bring these products into our wide offering for the animal nutrition market.
Hermetia Baruth GmbH is a spin-off of Katz Biotech AG, which has been breeding and distributing beneficial insects for biological pest control since 1992.
The soldier fly and insect meal. The solution to the problem.
In 2006, Hermetia Baruth GmbH was the first facility to successfully establish significant and stable breeding of the Hermetia illucens fly (Black Soldier Fly) in Europe. They mastered the holometabolic life cycle of the Black soldier fly and developed a bioreactor for the mass production of larvae, which are distributed worldwide. They then developed a system for processing fresh larval mass into meal that is very rich in oil and protein.
From a nutritional point of view, Hermetia illucens meal has an excellent amino acid profile, and, being of animal origin, a higher vitamin content than that of plants.
Insect meal should be given serious consideration now as well as for the future as an excellent alternative for natural, sustainable and hypoallergenic formulations.