Founded in 2016, the Paris-based company raises black soldier fly larvae with vertical farming technologies to produce natural, high-performing, and sustainable nutrients for animal feed.
“The ultimate challenge we’re trying to tackle is feeding a growing population a healthy, nutritious, and affordable diet. We must figure out how to do that within the constraints of our planet on a large scale,” says Maye Walraven, business development director at Innovafeed, during the Achieving Sustainable, Nutritious, and Affordable Diets for Animals session at the 2022 Animal AgTech Innovation Summit. “For every 1 acre of vertical insect farming you would need 100 acres of arable land to produce the same amount of protein with soybeans. We are rethinking how we optimize the resources we already have.”
Chosen for its valuable nutritional properties and scalability, the black soldier fly also has a rapid life cycle that includes four stages – egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Once it becomes an adult, the insect has a life span of five to eight days. In that time, the black soldier fly can lay 200 to 700 eggs that need four days to hatch. When it reaches the larva stage – which is when the insect is high in moisture, protein, and fat – the protein and oil are extracted for use in animal feed.
“Black soldier flies are super upcyclers,” Walraven says. “They can use biomass that’s readily available around the world and transform it into high-quality ingredients. All the parts of the insect can be used. We not only extract protein and oil but the dejections as well, which are used for fertilizer. It’s a zero-waste process.”
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