The supply deal had been flagged up several months previously.
The use of insect oil in the food and feed sector is completely new, said Dutch producer Protix.
Coppens Diervoeding is the first company to supplement pig and poultry feed using insect lipids, it added.
“Due to our agreement with Coppens we cannot communicate the exact amount of oil we delivered. However, it is a substantial amount, which we can supply on a regular basis,” said Stijn Vercauteren, a communications spokesperson for Protix, which breeds larvae of the Black Soldier Fly at its facility in Dongen.
And he told us Protix has several other parties who are interested in sourcing insect lipids for use in feed and to which it will start delivering imminently.
Coppens Diervoeding, he said, has been evaluating the supplementation of insect meal and fats in feed for six years. During this period, both the insect oil from Protix, as well as protein sources from insects have been analyzed in detail, said the insect derivatives producer.
The feed manufacturer said external research trials demonstrated that chicks’ growth and rate of feed conversion benefit from the use of insect oil, which contains a high proportion of lauric acid, compared to soybean oil.
As insect oil is regarded as an animal fat, and not a protein, it is allowed to be used in feeds for all animals under EU regulation.
Coppens has also signed a deal to buy 300 tons of insect meal from Protix as soon as it is allowed to be included in feeds for poultry and pigs in the EU.