Swiss company Bühler will deliver its proven crate-based nursery and rearing technology, enabling a quick ramp-up of the plant for commercial production. By the end of 2024, Agroloop plans to launch its first products, contributing to a more sustainable animal feed value chain.

Industrial-scale insect plant

Following its foundation in 2017 and the operation of a pilot facility, Agroloop got the green light to implement an industrial insect plant in Hungary in 2022.  Now, they have selected all execution partners and are working at full speed to construct the plant and get it operational. 

In the new plant, Agroloop will produce more than 25,000 metric tons of black soldier fly larvae that will be turned into sustainable feed ingredients for the pet food, aquaculture and livestock sectors.  The plant is only the first step in Agroloop's strategy to make insect feed ingredients available for the Central and Eastern European (CEE) agribusiness

'The abundance of food processing by-products presents a unique opportunity for Agroloop's multi-plant rollout strategy in the CEE region, ' says István Nagy, co-founder and CEO of Agroloop.

'We leverage our strategic partnership with the leading regional feed producer UBM Group to improve feed quality and sustainability by creating future-proof feed formulas. This enables Agroloop to focus on rapid expansion and solidifies our position as a key player in the region.' 

Tech for short ramp-up time 

Agroloop's insect growth technology has a big influence on plant yield, directly impacting the performance of business. Agroloop has chosen Bühler's nursery and rearing technology for their insect growth system, which has several years of track record in the insect industry. 

'We've assembled a technology supplier portfolio to build our plant. Bühler is crucial in providing this design's framework and core components. By choosing Bühler's technology, Agroloop can enter the value chain with the highest standards,' says István Nagy.  

Sustainable protein in demand  

In pursuing sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, the CEE region increasingly turns to alternative sources for feed ingredients. 

By incorporating insects into the feed supply chain, the region can address environmental concerns, reduce dependence on imported protein sources, and contribute to a circular economy approach. In addition, innovative feed formulations containing insects can optimize animal health and growth, thus leading to more efficient livestock production systems. 

Insects can be reared on agricultural and food processing by-products, transforming these materials into high-quality protein. This approach reduces the environmental impact of this value chain and creates a closed-loop system where resources are reused and recycled. 

The EU has previously depended on imported protein sources for animal feed, contributing to deforestation and habitat destruction in other parts of the world. By embracing the commercialization of insect-based livestock feed, the region can increase feed efficiency, reduce reliance on external sources, and contribute to local and regional food security. 

Andreas Baumann, head of market segment insect technology at Bühler, adds: 'The incorporation of insect ingredients in animal feed presents a compelling solution to the challenges faced by the livestock industry.'

'Besides providing nutritious and sustainable protein sources, insects empower local economies to become self-sufficient. That is why insect protein is key to a more sustainable and resilient food system.' 

Yesterday, Food Ingredients First reported that the UK Edible Insect Association said that European Novel Food regulations impose an 'extremely high barrier to entry for edible insect companies and ignore the sector's potential to build a more sustainable food system.' In other insect-based developments, US-based scientists recently revealed they are targeting dairy waste reduction by mass-producing the black soldier fly that feeds on it and evaluating the insect's potential as a feed for livestock and domestic pets. '

by Bühler

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