BioMar and Agronutris join forces on insect protein-based feed

Aquaculture feed specialist BioMar strikes deal with French biotech firm Agronutris to develop insect-based feed ingredients.
BioMar enters a long-term partnership with Agronutris to develop novel feed ingredients based on insect protein. Photo: Agronutris
BioMar enters a long-term partnership with Agronutris to develop novel feed ingredients based on insect protein. Photo: Agronutris

Aquaculture feed producer BioMar has taken a significant step towards including insect protein among its portfolio of aquaculture feed.

The feed company, which has been steadily expanding its range of aquaculture nutrition products, has announced a partnership with French biotech company Agronutris, which develops novel insect protein ingredients.

Following a deal signed at the end of April, BioMar and Agronutris will enter into a long-term partnership to develop next-generation aquaculture feed based on black soldier fly protein.

"Black soldier fly meal has always been an interesting prospect that could be well suited for aquafeeds," said Fernando Norambuena, Global Category Manager for Novel Raw Materials at BioMar.

"In Agronutris we have found a partner that shares our mission and dedication to reducing the environmental impacts of our aquafeeds. They have developed a scalable model for black soldier fly able to meet the nutritional and sustainability profile required by us and the industry," he said.

Agronutris plant in Rethel, France. Photo: Agronutris.

Black soldier fly insect meal "well suited for the aquaculture industry"

Agronutris is a specialist in the black soldier fly species, with over 12 years of research and development giving the company "significant know-how" on the biology and life-cycle of the insects, as well as the optimal technical rearing conditions for the species.

The black soldier fly is able to feed on a wide range of by-products, making it ideal in terms of sustainability and circularity, which Agronutris says can be scaled for the feed demands of the aquaculture industry. The species also has a very fast growing cycle which makes it particularly competitive for producing animal feed. The result, according to the company, is a "stable, high-quality product with a high sustainability performance demonstrated by a robust life-cycle assessment."

"For insect meal to successfully make its way into aquafeeds, it must demonstrate high nutritional value and support good growth and health for the fish and shrimp," said Chris Haacke, Director of Business Development at Agronutris.

"Our innovative product has a great nutritional profile that is well suited for the aquaculture industry. At Agronutris, we are working closely with BioMar to create the ideal product that will meet their ambitious sustainability parameters."

Sustainability and circularity are key goals for both companies

"A truly sustainable insect meal should be decoupled from the human food supply chain and fed off a substrate based on waste foods and by-products. With Agronutris, we see a viable, scalable model for producing black soldier fly meal that could see this product become a good source of nutrition in aquaculture", said Vidar Gundersen, Global Sustainability Director at BioMar. 

Both companies emphasise the close alignment of their respective strategies for sustainability. Agronutris defines its mission as supplying low environmental impact alternatives for animal feed. Meanwhile, BioMar has underscored that sustainability is at the heart of its future strategy.

BioMar announced its aim of procuring 50% of ingredients from a circular and restorative economy, while lowering its feed carbon footprint by 1/3 by 2030.

"As novel raw material manufacturers continue to evolve their product offerings, we will see more collaborations in BioMar like this", added Norambuena.

About Agronutris

Agronutris is a French biotech company created in 2011 specialized in rearing and transforming insects into proteins for animal nutrition. Made up of experts in entomology and specialists from the Agro-Industry, the company aims to offer high quality products for the aquaculture and petfood markets.

About BioMar

BioMar is a world leader in high performance diets for more than 45 different fish and shrimp species in more than 80 countries. Founded in 1962 by a group of Danish fish farmers, BioMar's heritage is a long-term commitment to developing the aquaculture industry in a responsible and sustainable way.

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