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Insect protein: Real replacement potential

FLORIDA - Aqua Biologics has begun Phase Two research trials on its patent pending Ento-Protein, a high quality sustainable protein derived from insects.

The research, in conjunction with Mississippi State University, will establish how the product can be integrated into farmed-fish diets. It is intended to be a replacement for fishmeal products which are a key ingredient in aquaculture formulations, but surrounded by controversy.

Feeding trials with the insect protein will now start on hybrid striped bass using diets substituting 100 per cent of the dietary fishmeal component with Ento-Protein™ meal. Concurrently, the Company is structuring the final Phase three research for extended growth trials, which are expected to start in October. The successful completion of these trials would pave the way for commercial trials and eventual implementation, says the company.

Mr. Sal Cherch, Chief Operating Officer, said that initial results were very pleasing. "We strongly believe that Ento-Protein™ will successfully provide a sustainable, all-natural fishmeal substitute," he added.

A staggering 25 per cent of all world fish production goes into fishmeal and fish oil. The world supply of fishmeal is so isolated geographically, that every metric tonne of fishmeal travels an average of 5000 km before it reaches the end user. This has enormous economic implications in supplying the global markets.

If insect derived protein is viable, then production sites could be set up worldwide.

"It would provide a viable solution to what is a serious problem. The key to the rapid and successful expansion of global seafood production is through the sustainable commercial production of a high quality dietary protein. Ento-Protein™ is the logical choice to eliminate the industry's dependence upon wild fishmeal as a dietary protein," said Mr Cherch.

Based in Boca Raton, Florida, Aqua Biologics is a division of Neptune Industries, a company which prides itself on sustainable aquaculture production.
Other products include Aqua-Sphere™ and Aqua-Cell™ a production system that successfully addresses the environmental concerns of most operations by controlling and recycling all waste products. It operates Blue Heron Aqua Farms in Florida City, and is a leading producer of hybrid striped bass. It also has interests in the organic certification of farm-raised seafood.