Scottish researchers have been awarded £10,000 to investigate the use of insects in animal feed

Raising large numbers of black soldier flies can help create more sustainable animal feed

OVER £10,000 has been awarded to researchers at a Scottish college to investigate the use of edible insects in animal feed.

With insects being hailed as a source of protein-rich food, experts at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) will examine the possibility of growing them as a potential way to develop more sustainable agriculture in Scotland.

The research will bring together insect breeders, feed operators and policy makers to develop a breeding strategy for insects for animal feed, in particular the black soldier fly.

The search for more sustainable methods comes as global demand for livestock products is expected to more than double by 2050.

READ MORE: Scotland’s ‘business-friendly’ push could set net zero targets on fire

Livestock production already accounts for around 18% of global carbon emissions and 70% of all agricultural land use worldwide, the SRUC said.

SRUC experts have been awarded the Innovative Knowledge Exchange prize of nearly £10,700 for the research, funded by the Sefari (Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes) Gateway.

As well as leading the animal feed project, researcher Dr Pattanapong Tiwasing is calling for the lifting of restrictions on the sale of whole insects and their ingredients for human consumption in the UK.

The European Commission approved the sale of whole insects and their ingredients subject to specific authorizations in 2018, however following Brexit this does not apply in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) where edible insects are neither regulated nor authorized for sale.

READ MORE: Scottish wealth tax plan ‘could help raise £3.3bn for public services’

Dr Tiwasing, from Thailand where the consumption of insects as a snack is commonplace, said: “The introduction of new and developing EU regulations regarding edible insect products has muddled the waters, leading to confusing procedures for those looking to market and export edibles. insects.

“This was particularly impactful after the UK left the EU, as it means that there are currently no regulations for the edible insect industry (for human consumption) and therefore it is illegal to sell insects for human consumption in the UK.

“Policymakers must take urgent action to ensure that the insect sector industry survives in Europe and the UK.”

The academic called on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) to urgently introduce a new “Britain-specific transitional measure” to allow the insect sector to survive in the UK.

The FSA and FSS were asked to comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *