Entoprotech helping launch BSF Consortium

Entoprotech launching BSF Consortium.

The consortium is the first-of-its-kind collaboration, uniting industry leaders and prominent Israeli academics to accelerate the adoption of BSF meal as a feed ingredient. This is a major milestone for the emerging Israeli BSF industry, and it became possible thanks to the Israel Innovation Authority, who allocated 18 million NIS ($5.4 million) for the first term. Entoprotech is one of the consortium pillars due to being active in all working groups and serving as the consortium processing facility.  

The insect industry is relatively young and is presently seeking a way to grow and scale up. Of all insect species approved for feed by regulators in US and EU, BSF is well-positioned for mass rearing: it is harmless to humans and the environment, is capable of rapid growth on a wide range of substrates such as food waste and agri-processing byproducts. BSF is especially notable for its high protein content as BSF larva is an excellent source of high-quality protein and can potentially replace the feed protein sources such as fishmeal, soy, and others in poultry, aquaculture, swine and pet diets. BSF rearing is a zero-waste process, as even the residue (frass) generated in the process is a high-quality fertilizer. All these traits uniquely position BSF to support sustainable agriculture towards the transition to the circular economy in Israel and worldwide.

The consortium includes eight companies (Entoprotech, FreezeM, Ambar, Shachar Group Ltd., NRGene, Neomanna, BugEra, Rafael Feed Mills Ltd) and research groups from five academic institutions (Volcani Institute, MIGAL, Haifa University, Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University). Together, they will address the technological challenges that hinder the massive adoption of BSF products. The consortium will develop BSF diets optimized for scaling up and downstream applications in animal feed, aided by machine learning technologies for the prediction of the nutritional profile of the end products based on substrate profile. Furthermore, the consortium will target an important issue--the quality of the protein. Bioprocessing optimization will address palatability and digestibility known to limit the inclusion of the BSF meal in animal diets. The improved processing methods and BSF diet optimization will potentially allow full replacement of the feed protein from other sources while tailoring the BSF product quality to the nutritional demands of the target animals. These efforts will lay the foundations for the economic feasibility of BSF farming, vital for the industry's long-term success. 

Entoprotech, which brings to the table extensive R&D capabilities, will lead the establishment of the first Israeli pilot BSF facility. The pilot will allow optimization and scaling-up of BSF biomass processing to produce protein, fat and other products. The facility will supply BSF ingredients for all consortium activities. The company also will be involved in mapping feedstock sources, optimization of BSF diets and exploration of the effect of substrate nutritional profile on BSF profile and additional activities.

“The prospect of collective effort to accelerate the deployment of the BSF industry while creating industrial symbiosis and laying the foundation for the BSF industrial ecosystem in Israel is unique and exciting. Besides its obvious economic advantage, it has a potential to reap huge societal merit by contributing to climate change and emerging food security crisis,” says Yulia Matiuhin, PhD, head of R&D at Entoprotech, a member of the consortium’s Scientific Committee and head of one of the consortium’s working groups.

“The creative use of bugs as a solution to the problem of organic waste hazards, while reducing environmental pollution has proven itself to be highly effective–bugs have high nutritional potential, produce fewer greenhouses gasses and emit less ammonia than farm animals, industrial-scale farming of bugs requires less space, water and land than a cattle farm, and they are more effective at converting food to biomass,” says Aviv Zeevi, VP Technological Infrastructure at the Israel Innovation Authority.



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