Publicaties

New feed ingredients : the insect opportunity

Raamsdonk, L.W.D. van; Fels-Klerx, H.J. van der; Jong, J. de

Samenvatting

In the framework of sustainability and a circular economy, new ingredients for feed are desired and, to this end, initiatives for implementing such novel ingredients have been started. The initiatives include a range of different sources, of which insects are of particular interest. Within the European Union, generally, a new feed ingredient should comply with legal constraints in terms of ‘yes, provided that’ its safety commits to a range of legal limits for heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticides, contaminants, pathogens etc. In the case of animal proteins, however, a second legal framework applies which is based on the principle ‘no, unless’. This legislation for eradicating transmissible spongiform encephalopathy consists of prohibitions with a set of derogations applying to specific situations. Insects are currently considered animal proteins. The use of insect proteins is a good case to illustrate this difference between a positive, although restricted, modus and a negative modus for allowing animal proteins. This overview presents aspects in the areas of legislation, feed safety, environmental issues, efficiency and detection of the identity of insects. Use of insects as an extra step in the feed production chain costs extra energy and this results in a higher footprint. A measure for energy conversion should be used to facilitate the comparison between production systems based on cold- versus warm-blooded animals. Added value can be found by applying new commodities for rearing, including but not limited to category 2 animal by-products, catering and household waste including meat, and manure. Furthermore, monitoring of a correct use of insects is one possible approach for label control, traceability and prevention of fraud. The link between legislation and enforcement is strong. A principle called WISE (Witful, Indicative, Societal demands, Enforceable) is launched for governing the relationship between the above-mentioned aspects.