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Zeigler Takes Up Insect-based Feeds

US - Neptune Industries has received a Letter of Intent to purchase more than 40 tonnes per month of its Ento-Protein(TM), an insect-based alternative to fishmeal, from Zeigler Bros.

Ento-ProteinTM is a high quality sustainable protein derived from insects, which is intended to be a replacement for the rapidly depleting fishmeal made from wild caught feedstock species, for which there is currently a $7 billion worldwide market.

Founded in 1935, privately held Zeigler Bros is a leading manufacturer of high quality animal feeds. Zeigler was the first to manufacture feeds for aquaculture in 1955, the first to commercialize a stable form of vitamin C in 1988, and most recently the first developer of aquatic diets for use in biomedical research.

Neptune plans on opening the first of its production facilities in late 2008. Deliveries are expected to begin by the end of this calendar year, following the establishment of pilot operations.

Neptune CEO Ernest D. Papadoyianis said the Zeigler LOI as a "major step forward" for achieving product launch of Ento-Protein by the end of this year.

"The reception Neptune has received from around the world since introducing the product is extremely encouraging. Several other major feed producers have already requested samples and we expect more letters of intent to be forthcoming," he said.

Mr Papadoyianis said that recently issued guidelines and recommendations by the USDA Panel on organic standards for seafood, "Make me quite optimistic that standards will be promulgated for organic fishmeal. As the 'first mover' in this new product category, we have every reason to believe that Ento-Protein will then qualify for an organic designation."

The company began a research and testing program for Ento-Protein with Mississippi State University in 2007, and recently completed the third stage of validation trials.

The company filed a provisional process patent in the Production and Processing of Select Insects into Protein Meal for Fish and Animal Diets in February 2006.