The livestock production in Denmark has a major challenge in providing sustainable proteins for animal feed, especially ecology. Several places have started working with insects, which are very efficient at converting biomass residues to high - quality proteins. For example, mealworms for poultry could replace soy or fish meal.
Published March 27, 2015
INBIOM will initiate demonstration experiments to find a good mixture of residues to cultivate mealworms in a project led by AgroTech and Danish Technological Institute with a number of farmers and SEGES. Danish Technological Institute has conducted a small project with mealworms in laboratory scale and this will now be further developed and demonstrated in pilot productions to gather knowledge about how to handle production of mealworms in practice.
The project will contribute to knowledge building and focus on the conditions in relation to production, which has an impact on the future production of mealworms in Denmark. The project develops different mixtures of biomass remains, which are firstly tested on the mealworms in the laboratory and then secondly tested in the best possible way at different farms with different locations. The mealworms are analysed in order to look into their nutritional value, especially the necessary amino acids, which are compared with traditional poultry compound feed, and the business potentials are analysed.
- There is a huge international focus on cultivating insects for feed. If we are to develop livestock production in Denmark, we need to find sustainable substitutes for soy and this is where the mealworms become interesting, because they can convert waste and biomass remains into a valuable product, explains Amparo Gomez Cortina, who is project manager at AgroTech.
INBIOM has granted 400,000 DKK to the project, which is expected to bring interesting results to build on. The price of fishmeal has doubled in a short time and the demand for alternative proteins gives Danish companies opportunities to create new value chains in a bio-based economy.