The urgency to switch to a circular agriculture is growing rapidly. Utilizing residual streams as well as insects are both important parts of the stakes of the insect industry and the Dutch government within the circular economy. With this PPP project we work on  relatively low-tech solutions for high volume biomasses to be used as substrate in the growing insect sector. The goal is to add value along the novel production chain, while controlling food and feed safety and to bring a sustainable contribution to the Dutch circular economy.

The objective of the project is to develop safe and nutritious substrates for insect rearing from low-value organic residual streams by making use of composting, fermentation and mycoremediation. We intend to achieve safe and nutritious substrates from organic biomass by building on current knowledge and technology for clean substrate production from mushroom cultivation. The project will make use of the auto-pasteurization properties of composting and the unique properties of fungi to biodegrade and/or absorb hazardous substances (mycoremediation). These processing techniques will contribute to biodegradation of possible hazardous substances and will convert undigestible substances such as lignin into digestible nutritious substances. We will investigate several residual streams and possible combinations of these residual streams. This will result in reducing, eliminating and controlling food and feed safety risks, as well as ensure optimal insect growth in the production of insect products for food and/or feed.