On 3 July Insectpoint was officially opened by Jan Nico Appelman, member of the Flevoland Provincial Executive, and Tijs Breukink of Wageningen UR by taking a bite of chocolate-dipped insects. Insectpoint is the Knowledge Centre for Insect Rearing of Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) in Lelystad. This is how Wageningen UR - together with businesses and fellow knowledge organisations - wishes to make its fundamental knowledge about insect rearing, available for use on practical scale.
Before the actual opening prof. Arnold van Huis, the Wageningen expert in the domain of edible insects, spoke about the chances insects are offering us. “Worldwide, some 1900 insect species are eaten. Where the eating of insects is quite common in other parts of the world, the amount of insects consumed in Europe is still low. This is a missed opportunity because insects present a sustainable form of proteins in comparison with the proteins currently often originating from meat. Another advantage is that they can be fed with the residual flow of plant material.” After the opening, the visitors took a look at the insect rearing facilities of one of the partners of the centre and insect snacks were tasted.
Practical knowledge on insect breeding
By opening this centre Wageningen UR hopes - together with businesses and fellow knowledge organisations - to share its fundamental knowledge about rearing and eating of insects with other stakeholders for application in commercial practice. The objective is to increase the possibilities for rearing of insects for animal as well as for human consumption in Europa and to improve the production process of this alternative source of protein.
The knowledge acquired in the centre will be disseminated via events, workshops and tours for companies, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders. At the end of October Insectpoint will be organising its first workshop about insect rearing. Insectpoint is housed in the BioScience Center in Lelystad, a location of Wageningen UR. To stimulate the interaction between businesses and knowledge organisations, office and lab room has been created for research by companies with an interest in insect rearing and which may have an interest to join centre as partner.