The worlds demand for animal protein is on the rise as population and food needs increase. An expected 75% rise in demand by 2050 compared to 2007 (World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision) will negatively impact the environment through deforestation for soy production and overfishing for aquaculture feeding.
This growth will also result in greater greenhouse gas emissions, loss of biodiversity, an increase in antibiotic resistant genes through widespread use of antibiotics in aquaculture, and higher levels of organic waste. Only 25% of biowaste is currently recycled into high quality compost and digestate (European Compost Network), with the majority going to landfill or being incinerated.Insect protein meal is a resource-efficient, sustainable and environmentally-friendly alternative for animal feedstuff to replace fish and soy meal.
The overall aim of LIFE Waste2Protein is to foster the use of biowaste as a resource to produce insect proteins from Black soldier flies (BSF). It will install a modular pilot plant to breed 300 tonnes of BSF larvae in different development stages. This will need an input of 20 tonnes of biowaste per day to feed the BSF larvae, delivered from local supermarket chains.
Tests will be performed to optimise the quality and quantity of the protein and to achieve a high level of system automatisation.
The project contributes to the implementation of waste legislation including the Waste Framework Directive, the Circular Economy Package and the Landfill Directive. Furthermore, it contributes to the Common Fisheries Policy, the EU action plan against antimicrobial resistance, and the 2050 low-carbon economy roadmap.