Insect products as health promoter in poultry and pig feed

Projecttitel: Insect products as health promoter in poultry and pig feed
Projectnummer: LWV19161
Missie: Gewaardeerd, gezond en veilig voedsel
MMIP: D3: Veilige en duurzame primaire productie
Looptijd: 2020 – 2023
Projectleider: Teun Veldkamp

Current food production will need to almost double in 2050 since the world will host 9 million people. Land is scarce and expanding the area devoted to farming is rarely a viable or sustainable option. Oceans are overfished and climate change and related water shortages causing serious repercussions for the planet’s resources, socio-economic development, and environmental sustainability. 
Recently, insects have received increased attention as an important source of sustainable raw materials for animal feed, especially in fish, poultry, and swine. 
The use of insects for feeding farmed animals represents a promising alternative because of the nutritional properties of insects and the possible environmental benefits, given the sustainability of this type of farming. Several insect species can be efficiently raised on organic side streams and fed to a variety of animal species. In general, most edible insect species appear to be good sources of amino acids, fatty acids, most minerals, and most B vitamins. 

Next to nutritional properties insects also may have additional health benefits compared to conventional feed sources according to available literature and preliminary results of in vitro research and in vivo broiler research in PPS AF-16178). 
Insect compounds such as chitin, lauric acid and antimicrobial peptides may have positive effects on animals fed insect-based feed. 

The aim of the current project is to further specify the functional properties of different insect isolates and fractions and the development of innovative feeding concepts with insect products based on these functional properties. 
The knowledge gained from this project will result in new opportunities to substituting non-sustainable feed ingredients by sustainable insect chitin, proteins and oils and include health supporting insect products in poultry (broilers) and pig feed (piglets). 

As a result the use of antibiotics in the poultry and pig chain may decrease by the use of certain insect isolates and contribute in this way to animal health and welfare and to circularity and climate neutral agriculture and appreciated healthy and safe food.