SUSINCHAIN: Insects as replacement of animal protein

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Insects as replacement of animal protein gets a boost

Published on
October 9, 2019

SUSINCHAIN is a project funded with a grant from the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme. The new European research project SUSINCHAIN will start on October 1st 2019. The project aims to contribute to novel protein provision for feed and food in Europe.

SUSINCHAIN wants to overcome the barriers for increasing the economic viability of the insect value chain and opening markets by combining forces in a comprehensive multi-actor consortium.

Protein supply chain most critical

The expected global population growth to 9.1 billion people in 2050 and the significant change of global dietary patterns require increasing global food production by about 60%. The protein supply for feed and food is most critical, and requires a transition in protein sources. Edible insects can upgrade low-grade side streams of food production into high-quality protein, amino acids and vitamins in a very efficient way. Insects are thus considered to be the “missing link” in the food system of a circular and sustainable economy. Insects and insect-derived products have entered the European market since first being acknowledged as a valuable protein source for feed and food production at around 2010. However, scaling up the insect value chain in Europe is progressing at a relative slow pace.

Insect value chain stakeholders in and beyond the SUSINCHAIN consortium, have identified the necessary strategies and related activities to overcome the current hurdles for scaling up the value chain, Hence, the project aims to test, pilot and demonstrate recently developed technologies, products and processes, to realise a shift up to Technology Readiness Level 6 or higher for insect chains based on Black Soldier Fly, (BSF), Housefly, (HF), Mealworm (MW) and Crickets (HC) for feed and/or food production.

20% insect protein in 2025

These actions provide the necessary knowledge and data for actors in the insect value chain to decrease the cost price of insect products, process insects more efficiently and market insect protein applications in animal feed and regular human diets that are safe and sustainable. This will pave the way for further upscaling and commercialisation of the European insect sector, resulting in a replacement of animal protein by insect protein of 10% in animal feed and of 20% in human diets, and a thousand fold increase in both production volumes and jobs in 2025.

The SUSINCHAIN project team at the kick off
The SUSINCHAIN project team at the kick off

The duration of the project will be 48 months and the project will be conducted in collaboration with 18 industrially and 17 academic partners with a total budget of over 8.5 million euro. Dr. Teun Veldkamp as coordinator and Prof. Ine van der Fels-Klerx as deputy coordinator, both of Wageningen University & Research (WUR), will take on the management of the project.