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Feed with insects, first Italian factory opens

The start-up Bef Biosystems will produce flours for animals

The first Italian insect farm for animal feed is about to be inaugurated in the province of Alessandria: an integrated insect breeding system for the bioconversion of food waste into protein flour and oil to be used in the production of feed.

Casalnoceto will be the first bugsfarm pilot plant and was built in the Razza di San Carlo company owned by the Marquis Annibale Brivio Sforza , which has a large greenhouse, ideal for the reproduction of insects. The system, the result of research conducted in insecticulture by the Piedmontese start-up Bef Biosystems, allows the intensive breeding of the "Hermetia illucens" fly, also known as "Soldier Fly". With the bugsfarm a new industry was born that also reduces the costs of disposing of organic residues and the import of feed: fishmeal for example, a fundamental component that is imported in large quantities in Italy and Europe.

On the insect farm, local food companies provide their own fruit and vegetable scraps (potatoes that are too large or non-compliant eggplants, for example) to be processed into feed. Within a week, the larvae grow by feeding on these waste and it is they who carry out the bioconversion process. Bef Biosystems has also entered into agreements with some companies for the supply of waste.

"From a ton of waste we obtain 200 kilograms of larvae and the same number of manure (the digestate of the larvae) which is excellent as a fertilizer", explained Giuseppe Tresso , executive president of Bef Biosystems. "The fat is removed from the larvae and then dried and transformed into flour. Four Bugsfarms are expected to be launched in Alessandria by the end of the year to spread this technology throughout the territory by connecting them with the existing biogas plants and using the heat they produce. (currently not used) to heat breeding areas".

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EFA News - European Food Agency