Insects as pet food ingredients overcoming barriers in US

As insects overcome both psychological and legal speedbumps, the tiny animals may become a big part of pet food.

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image by Tr3gi,
image by Tr3gi,

Insect-based pet food ingredients may face regulatory and psychological hurdles until they are fully accepted into the US market. However, other cultures have no qualms about entomophagy (the consumption of insects) for humans or animals. That attitude seems to be creeping into to the US and Europe, while legislative blocks to bugs are being squashed.

During Petfood Forum 2018, three scientists and pet food professionals will lead roundtable discussions on insect as pet food ingredients.

“At this point we also don’t know how consumers will react to insects as part of their pets’ diets,” said pet nutrition consultant Mark Finke, PhD. “In developed countries there is a strong aversion to humans eating insects which likely would translate over to pets (at least initially).”

That anti-insect sentiment may not be universal among humans though.

“Most countries outside of the ‘west’ are receptive to the concept of insects as food or feed,” said Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, associate professor in the department of entomology at Texas A&M University and chairman of EVO Conversion Systems.

Insect-based ingredients also face regulatory hurdles. However, those barriers may be falling away.

“The tentative approval for black soldier fly larvae meal (defatted larvae) in salmonid diets in the US at the January 2018 AAFCO meeting was very exciting because it lays the groundwork for additional approvals in companion animal, poultry, swine and exotics,” said ,” said Liz Koutsos, PhD, president of EnviroFlight.

As insects overcome both psychological and legal speedbumps, the tiny animals may become a big part of pet food.

Petfood Forum 2018

Learn more about insects inclusion in dog and cat diets at Petfood Forum 2018. Petfood Forum provides an opportunity for pet food professionals from around the world to network, exchange ideas and do business with one another and with the industry's leading pet food manufacturers and suppliers. Petfood Forum 2018 will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA on April 23 -25, 2018.

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