The authorization, said the Canadian insect feed manufacturer, means it can now market the product for use in feed for farmed salmon, trout and arctic char.
Victoria Leung, marketing and operations manager, at the British Columbia based Enterra, said: “This is a major breakthrough for us, and for the aquaculture industry in Canada.”
Canada is the fourth-largest producer of farmed salmon in the world, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. In 2015 the farm gate value - the net value when it leaves the farm - of salmon and trout in Canada was $850m.
This is the first Canadian approval of an insect-based aquaculture feed ingredient, and follows the CFIA's approval for the whole dried larvae in feed for broilers last year.
Enterra received a similar US approval in 2016 when the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) added whole dried larvae to its ingredient list for salmonids, the first approval of insects in feed in North America.
The company also anticipates Canadian and US approvals for use of its meal product in salmonid and poultry feeds this year: "We have received an initial response from CFIA regarding our Enterra Meal applications and are confident that we will meet their requirements to obtain approval," Leung told us.
Waste to feed
The dried whole BSF larvae product is a digestible and renewable source of protein and fat that can replace fishmeal or soymeal in the diets of salmonids, said the company.
Fishmeal is a finite resource and one that is subject to substantial price fluctuations, while soymeal requires significant agricultural inputs that could be “used more efficiently” to grow food for people, according to Enterra.
On the contrary, it said its insect-based feed ingredients come with a “long-term price guarantee” and are “sustainably” produced.
Enterra rears BSF larvae on pre-consumer food waste such as fruits, vegetables, stale bread, grains, and retail store waste that it said would otherwise go to landfill, composting or waste-to-energy operations where the food nutrient value would be lost.
The whole dried BSF Larvae are comprised of 40% protein and 40% fat on a dry matter basis (dmb), with an ideal inclusion level in finished feed of 15-30%, said the producer, which has its processing facility in Langley.
The larvae are a source of essential amino acids, and compare favorably to animal-derived ingredients such as poultry by-product meal and fishmeal, it added.
The fat fraction of the larvae is said to consist of highly metabolisable fats, including 55% saturated fat, 30% monounsaturated fatty acids, 15% polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 and 9) <1% free fatty acid.
Relative to other feeder insects, the company said dried BSF larvae are a good source of high availability macro-minerals, including digestible calcium. They also have a moisture content of less than 10%, water activity of 0.5 and a shelf life of at least 12 months.
And to ensure the dried BSF larvae adhere to high quality and safety standards specified in CFIA, FDA, and EU regulatory regimes, Enterra said its production lots are routinely analyzed for heavy metals, mycotoxins, PCBs, dioxins, E. coli, Salmonella and total microbial load.
The company has primarily sold its products to the backyard chicken, pet food and wild bird markets in Canada and the US.
It is currently finalizing plans to build a new facility in Vancouver to expand its existing capacity, with construction is set to begin in 2017. It is looking to open an additional four facilities shortly, thereafter, in locations within Canada and the US, on anticipation of further registrations in North America.