Malaysian insect meal maker breaks into EU pet market

The EU approval opens the doors to the rapidly growing insect-based pet food sector in Europe.

With the recent approval of black soldier fly larvae for use in adult dog foods, insect protein options bear additional consideration. | (TARAPONG PATTAMACHAIYANT | iStock.com)
With the recent approval of black soldier fly larvae for use in adult dog foods, insect protein options bear additional consideration. | (TARAPONG PATTAMACHAIYANT | iStock.com)

Nutrition Technologies, an insect-based protein ingredients manufacturer operating in Malaysia and Singapore, is in the process of exporting its insect meal to the European Union (EU), the first company from Malaysia to make the cut. 

In 2022, Malaysia, along with Canada, Switzerland, United Kingdom and South Korea, became eligible to export insects and insect-based products to the EU. The Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture then approved Nutrition Technologies to send its insect meal and oil as feed ingredient for aquafeed, livestock and pet food to the single European market and the UK.

Nutrition Technologies manufactures and supplies insect protein meal, oil and frass (insect manure) to help feed the growing agriculture and feed industries around the world. They rear a tropical species of black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) that can grow quickly and efficiently in the ambient Malaysian climate. Using a combination of beneficial microbes in a low-energy, zero-waste production model to grow their insects, the larvae are fed only vegetable-based agro-industrial materials such as palm and grain by-products. The resulting insect meal is fully compliant with EU regulations and the facility is both GMP & HACCP certified. The insect-based products are suitable for aquatic feed, livestock feed and pet food with functional benefits in animals’ health and growth. 

Nutrition Technologies said the EU approval opens the doors to the rapidly growing insect-based pet food sector in Europe, and gives aquafeed manufacturers a new and sustainable source of protein in feeds. It is also a major economic boost for Malaysia which is heavy on agricultural exports.

Nutrition Technologies currently ships industrial volumes of material throughout Asia and South America from its two-hectare factory in Malaysia.

First sustainable commercial dog food in Malaysia

Meanwhile, Nutrition Technologies also has an ongoing project with pet food manufacturer Pet World Nutritions and animal welfare group SPCA in Selangor to launch the first sustainable commercial dog food in Malaysia formulated with BSFL protein. Their plan is to promote the use of BSFL in commercial pet food products, facilitate educational initiatives on the benefits of BSFL within Malaysia, and to support more sustainable living, which includes reducing carbon footprints and giving back to communities through the Cause for the Stray campaign.

Malaysia produces about 38,000 metric tons of food waste daily, which the BSFL could turn into an insect meal protein for pet food, hence the partnership among the three organizations. 

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