Insect Rearing for Food, Feed, and Pharma
WHAT IS IPIP?
The Insect Protein Innovation Platform (IPIP) is a collaboration between local and regional government in the Dutch province of Noord-Limburg, local entrepreneurs, and higher education institutions designed to stimulate innovation in insect protein as a sustainable alternative to livestock, fish, and vegetable proteins. The region is ideally suited to this task, boasting expertise in three areas essential to developing, sustaining, and transporting innovations in food and feed:
Venlo: Transportation and Logistics
Horst: Industrial Automation and Climate Control
Venray: Agriculture and Livestock
The University of Applied Sciences (HAS), Wageningen University, and the University of Maastricht complete the “triple helix” of collaboration between government, business, and education.
Insects such as the black soldier fly and the mealworm have a high protein content, can be reared easily, and can feed on food and other waste. The insects can be processed whole, in parts, or ground into flour for human, poultry, livestock, or pet consumption. Some insects also contain substances that may be extracted for pharmaceutical or cosmetic purposes.
Pressures on natural resources due to population growth, a growing global demand for protein, and the reliance on feed crops from outside Europe are just three reasons for considering sustainable alternative protein sources. Additionally, insects efficiently convert feed to protein, reproduce quickly, are easily transported, and require less space to rear than traditional livestock. They can also be reared on organic waste streams, require less water than cattle, and emit fewer harmful gases than traditional livestock.