AIC is closely involved with the UK Government initiative on insect biomass. AIC is engaged in order to express the feed industry view that it is interested in all new potential sources of protein so long as they satisfy the industry’s requirements for:
- Feed safety – the industry will only consider the use of protein from assured suppliers. This means that the supplier has to demonstrate rigorous control of feed material production, testing for contaminants and other anti-nutritional factors, the absence of ruminant DNA etc. This is obviously particularly dependent on the substrate used. Risk of disease carry over is a concern.
- Protein quality – the industry requires consistent and specific protein quality that matches animal nutritional requirements. Processing technique in relation to Animal By-products is relevant here. Consistent nutrient analysis is needed.
- Manufacturing aspects - Issues such as stability, homogeneity (in terms of mixing), palatability all need to be addressed.
- Volume – regular and reliable sources of high volumes of protein are required.
- Commercially viable – new sources must compete favourably with currently available proteins.
- Market acceptance – the feed industry is unlikely to use protein sources that might compromise the demand for their customers’ (livestock producers) products. Retailers and consumer groups must be involved in any supply chain assessment of new protein sources which may be considered ‘sensitive’.
- Legal position - under Regulation 999/2001, insect protein may be fed is fish.