The Danish-headquartered aquafeed specialist has recently completed the testing of insect meal in its feeds and believes it shows promise as an alternative protein source, as well as a means for aquaculture producers to differentiate their products.
The use of insects in aquafeeds ties in with the company’s involvement in projects with customers who wanted to create seafood brands. The first collaboration project was ‘In the Blue’, a sustainable salmon created in partnership with Kvarøy and Wholefoods, followed by Silverside Coho, created with Vertisqueros.
“More branded seafood products making a differentiation through their feed recipe will soon be hitting markets across European and the Americas,” states BioMar.
Insect meal is one among many other novel ingredients, including algae oil or single cell proteins, that BioMar has been investigating. BioMar believes these raw materials can address some of the needs of the market and are now eager to speed up their adoption through the creation of innovative feed solutions targeting the needs of seafood consumers.
BioMar has been investigating insect meal since 2015 and, from 2017, has been undertaking tests with our customers who have been feeding their fish on diets containing insect meal. These fish have already made their way to supermarkets in Europe among retailers eager to implement future-oriented food solutions that focus on natural foods.
Michel Autin, technical director at BioMar’s EMEA division, said: “Innovation of course comes at a cost, but farmers who are the first movers with insect meal will benefit from a strong market position. Insect meal has a future as an alternative protein source in aquaculture feeds if the price of this new raw material can be kept at reasonable limits. We have good test results on insect meal originating from black soldier flies, mealworms and others, which makes it a promising raw material.”
According to research undertaken by Deloitte, today’s consumers are looking for more than just price, taste and convenience when they are shopping. Consumers are seeking more natural food choices that have a minimal impact on nature.
As a result BioMar is keen to emphasise that it has “the capabilities to offer innovative seafood solutions that will help consumers who are in search for healthy and wholesome ‘back to nature’ products that are also mindful of the environment. This is where insect meal can play a role.”