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New film reveals insect protein in animal feed can improve the health and quality of chickens

3 April 2014 - PROTEINSECT project

A new video shows that poultry farmers in China who use insect-based feed are noticing improvements in both the health and quality of their birds.

Yaohui Che, who works on a farm in Guangdong province, says: “Feeding the chicken with insects improves the immune system of the chicken. Also, it greatly improves chicken meat quality.”

The video, produced and released by CommNet follows a team of researchers from the EU-funded project PROteINSECT, who are investigating the potential of fly larvae as a novel protein source for animal feed.

They travelled to China to learn from farmers who are already growing insects to be used as a feed ingredient. It is hoped that this transfer of knowledge and expertise will help European feed producers to also take advantage of this novel source of protein.

In the video, Elaine Fitches, PROteINSECT Co-ordinator at Fera in the UK (The Food & Environment Research Agency) explains why finding alternative protein sources for animal feed is so important. “We have a growing global population, people are eating more and more meat, and therefore we need to produce protein more sustainably.”

Insects represent a promising solution as they have a reduced environmental impact compared to traditional sources of animal feed protein, such as soya and fishmeal. Additionally, they can be reared on a range of organic waste materials.

The PROteINSECT project is keen to gauge the public’s opinion on the use of insect protein in animal feed and have made a short survey available at Readers wishing to make their views count must complete the survey by 11th April. The results of the survey will be presented at the Insects to Feed the World Conference (14-17 May 2014, Ede, The Netherlands ).


Media information contact:

Kate Viggers/Rhonda Smith - Minerva UK - +44(0)1264-326427 - +44(0)7887-714957  Interviews available with Elaine Fitches, PROteINSECT Co-ordinator/FERA


Notes for Editors:

  1. PROteINSECT survey on production and use of insect protein for animal feed can be accessed here
  2. PROteINSECT’s summary report on current European legislation concerning insect protein and animal feed is available to view and download from the project website
  3. Partners in the PROteINSECT project are:
  • FERA - Food & Environment Research Agency, UK   Tel +44-1904-462564 Dr. Elaine FITCHES - Coordinator, expertise in entomology and food safety
  • CAB International UK - Expertise in entomology
  • Nutrition Sciences NV Belgium -Global producer of feed concepts and functional feed ingredients (FFIs)
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Belgium - Expertise in Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
  • Minerva Communications Ltd, UK - Expertise in Food Policy and Science Communication
  • Eutema Technology Management GmbH & Co KG Austria - Expertise in Science Communication
  • Grantbait Ltd UK - Maggot Farmer
  • Guangdong Entomology Institute China -Expertise in Entomology, especially rearing of insects
  • Huazhong Agricultural University China -Expertise in Entomology, expertise in fly rearing and prepupae collection
  • Fish for Africa - Ghana Limited by Guarantee Ghana -NGO promoting sustainable Aquaculture in Africa
  • Institut D'Economie Rurale Mali - Expertise in sustainable Agriculture in Africa
  • The University of Stirling UK - Expertise in Entomology and Fish feeding trials
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration
under grant agreement No 289699

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