Bühler breaks new ground in insect processing

The technology group Bühler will build an industrial plant to process black soldier flies. The first of its kind in Europe, the plant will produce protein meal for animal nutrition.

insects, science
Bühler wants to build an industrial plant to process black soldier flies. (image: Bühler)

Bühler is building the project together with its partner Protix in the Netherlands. The two founded the joint venture Bühler Insect Technology earlier this year.

“With this first industrial insect protein production plant we will make an important step towards a more sustainable global food and feed value chain,” Andreas Aepli, CEO of Bühler Insect Technology, said in a statement.

The technology group from the St.GallenBodneseeArea wants to begin construction already this year. The plant is expected to be operational in the first half of 2018 and will produce protein meal and lipids used in animal feed for pigs, chicken, fish and domestic animals.

Bühler’s efforts toward the industrial production of animal protein come in response to the increasingly unsustainable practice of plant protein production. Only 25 per cent of plant proteins end up being consumed by humans, which is why alternative sources for protein such as insects or algae are becoming increasingly important. The insects can even be grown on organic residues.

The new insect processing plant will be constructed in a modular design and can be expanded in the future as needed.

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