Campden BRI has begun working with a team of experts to develop insect nutrition in animal feed to move the UK’s fish and poultry production towards a sustainable future.A grant of £250,000 from the Innovate UK Transforming Food Production programme was secured by a team involving Entec Nutrition, the University of Exeter and research partners Campden BRI.The research will look to reduce the carbon footprint of the feed industry by investigating efficient insect production methodologies and the science behind insect nutrition in animal feed.Tiia Morsky, ingredients research team leader at Campden BRI, said:“We will be developing the methodology to produce insect-derived protein and oil ingredients. This will include separation, drying, milling and analysis of each product’s characteristics including nutrition, shelf-life and functionality.”As population levels rise, it is expected that fish and poultry consumption will increase, generating a greater demand for animal feedstocks, and therefore animal-feed ingredients.The global feed industry is energy-intensive, reliant on international imports, at risk of commodity price hikes, and associated with deforestation. The UK needs to increase feed production resilience to mitigate these issues and to move the UK’s fish and poultry production towards a sustainable and productive future. This project will develop insect feed to lower the cost of production and environmental impact of the poultry and aquaculture industries and significantly support the UK’s goal to reach net zero carbon target by 2050. Dr Olivia Champion, who co-founded Entec Nutrition with University of Exeter colleague Professor Richard Titball, said:“We are thrilled to have won this Innovate UK Transforming Food Productions grant with our research partners. It’s really exciting for Entec Nutrition to form part of the UK’s clean innovation solutions to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The funding will allow us to explore methods for low energy production of insects to lower the cost of production and the environmental impact of the feed industry.”The collaboration between Campden BRI and Entec Nutrition extends beyond the Innovate UK initiative, with a smaller EU-funded project with similar objectives.
Campden BRI’s Morsky added: “The second project will build on our findings by further developing methods that will produce nutritious oil-rich and protein-rich ingredients from insects. The nutritional content of these ingredients will then be assessed for poultry-feed producers and shelf-life, and we’ll also identify any biological or chemical contaminants.”Campden BRI is currently working on a number of Innovate UK projects including one to improve process efficiency and product quality using artificial intelligence, and another to support the development and assessment of a new aseptic packaging system that uses plasma technology.