July 26, 2016


Canada approves use of black soldier fly larvae for poultry feed


Canada has approved the use of whole dried black soldier fly (BSF) larvae as a feed ingredient for poultry broilers by a feed company.


Enterra Feed Corp., which is based in Langley, British Columbia, last week said the approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) comes after four years of work. The CFIA had reviewed Enterra's product as a novel feed ingredient, including a complete assessment of product safety and a data review.


"This is a significant step forward", said Victoria Leung, marketing and operations manager for Enterra, which specialises in the development and manufacture of ecological insect protein for the animal feed industry.


"We can now offer a renewable protein alternative to those companies manufacturing and retailing chicken feed", she added.


Enterra's manufacturing process involves breeding and raising BSF larvae, which are fed pre-consumer food waste that would otherwise go to landfill, composting or waste-to-energy operations where the food nutrient value would be lost.


Enterra said BSF larvae are an ideal candidate for rearing as a feed ingredient as they consume a wide range of pre-consumer waste food such as waste fruits, vegetables, stale bread, grains and grocery store waste. They are also native to North America, do not bite or sting, are high in protein and fat, and grow rapidly under controlled conditions.


Natural food source for poultry


Andrew Vickerson, Enterra chief technology officer, pointed out that insects are a natural food source for poultry. "Other sources of protein used in animal feed include fish meal, which causes depleted fish stocks, or soybean meal, which requires many inputs and acres of land, which could be used for human food production", he said in citing the environmental advantage of BSF larvae as feed ingredient.


Earlier this year, Enterra's application to use dried BSF larvae in salmonid feed was accepted by

the ingredients definition committee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed and agreed with the definition, the first time a federal regulatory body in North America accepted the use of an insect-based ingredient as a source of energy and protein for use in animal feed.


Enterra is working with the CFIA and the FDA for approval for the use of whole dried black soldier fly larvae in other animal feeds as well, including poultry layers, trout and salmon. Enterra is also working to develop new insect protein products such as a high protein (60% protein) meal and oil.


Enterra, however, is not the only company dealing with the black soldier fly larvae as ingredient for feed. US company EnviroFlight LLC has developed proprietary technologies that enable the rearing of non-pathogenic black soldier fly larvae in an industrially scalable manner.


Its innovative and responsible approach earned for the company the "DSM Innovation Award in Aquaculture" at AquaVision 2016 held in Norway last June. The citation said the innovation had considerable potential within the multibillion-euro aquaculture feed industry as it would provide an environmentally friendly, toxin-free and sustainable protein source.-Rick Alberto