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Bühler expands insect portfolio

02 September 2019

Bühler has developed a string of technologies and capabilities to offer total rearing and processing solutions for the insect industry. 

"Our proposition to the market is to support the industry through solutions that produce and process a range of insect species,” said Andreas Aepli, CEO Bühler Insect Technology Solutions. 

The first industrial black soldier fly plant opened in June this year and the company is now working on creating a new facility for a second species – the yellow mealworm.
A first project has been started in the Netherlands with a farmer who already worked on the concept of producing yellow mealworm in an old pig farm. Bühler will now support the project and design, installation and commissioning of a complete mealworm production facility in a 2,300 square-meter facility. “With this project we will set the bar on modularised mealworm production in an automated and hygienic way,” said Aepli. “Our technological solutions can be readily integrated into existing farms, but larger-scale facilities can also be realised.” 
The yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) is said to offer interesting market opportunities in food applications. They have a great nutritional value which includes proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibres and are already used in various food products. An interesting aspect of mealworm farming is the resource use. Mealworms can grow on for instance wheat bran and rice husks, by-products that many existing Bühler customers produce and could get increased value out of.
Globally, the pressure on protein is rising fast as the worldwide population is expected to rise to nearly 10 billion by 2050. The global supply of protein is under pressure due to land erosion, ocean depletion and climate change. Alternative proteins are in high demand and innovative sources such as algae, funghi, single-cell bacteria as well as insects are on the rise. Insects offer one of the biggest potentials as they can be produced anywhere in the world and can be used almost directly as a high-quality source of nutrition and protein.

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