Food Industry Bugging Out Over Insect Protein


By Victoria Campisi, The Food Institute

Jan 11, 2021


The edible insect market, which surpassed $112 million in 2019, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26.5% from 2020 to 2027 to reach $4.63 billion by 2027, according to Research and Markets.


Companies are banking on this unique way to produce protein. Here’s a closer examination of why companies are so intrigued by the edible insect market.


The Future of Food Supply?


The market’s rapid expansion is largely due to sustainability. Insects can be grown with limited natural resources and a relatively small environmental footprint. Other factors at play include the growing emission of greenhouse gases from livestock and poultry, high nutritional value of insects, and a low risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases.


Insect production for food and animal feed is on its way to becoming more mainstream. Archer Daniels Midland and InnovaFeed plan to begin building what will be the world’s largest insect protein facility this year in Decatur, Illinois, reported Forbes (Dec. 31, 2020).


The companies plan to grow and harvest billions of an insect called the black soldier fly, whose larvae consume immense amounts of organic material and convert it to nutrient-rich protein that can be sold as animal feed. ADM and InnovaFeed are aiming to produce up to 60,000 metric tons of animal feed protein per year, as well as 20,000 metric tons of oils for poultry and swine rations and 400,000 tons of fertilizer.


The plant marks a major step toward establishing the insect protein industry and, if widely scaled, could lead to reducing the carbon footprint and land requirements of farm animals.


Companies Leading the Way ...


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