Patent Review

Chinese biotech firm develops insect egg concentrate for rapid newborn growth

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Olivier Le Moal
© GettyImages/Olivier Le Moal
Bioforte Biotechnology has developed a nutritionally-dense protein from edible insect eggs that it claims improves newborn animal growth as well as overall feed intake and feed conversion rates.

Writing in its international patent​,​ the Guangdong-based biotech specialist said the nutritional supplement could be made from a range of insect eggs, including black soldier fly and yellow mealworm. 

Manufactured into a paste or powder form, it said the product could be added to animal feed, drinking water or used in direct artificial feeding and was suitable for aquatic animals including fish, shrimps and crab or pigs, chickens and ducks. 

'More nutritious' than regular insect protein​ 

Bioforte said that whilst there were a range of insect products on the market, many were relatively low in protein and fatty acids. 

“According to our research, insect eggs are more nutritious,”​ the company wrote in its patent filing. 

The insect egg product contained at least 40% more protein than dried worms, it said, and had a “reasonable amino acid composition”. ​The company said the fat concentration was also higher than that found in insects, insect larvae or cockroaches. 

Bioforte said the insect egg nutritional supplement was therefore well suited for young animals, as well as treating weak or sick animals. It provided “comprehensive benefits” -​ effectively improving overall health, feed intake and feed conversion rates (FCR) in both livestock and aquatic animals, it said. 

In newborn piglets, for example, feed formula containing the nutritional supplement led to “obvious” ​weight gain and an increase in feed intake. Occurrence of diarrhea was also greatly reduced – a problem “frequently occurring in primary animals”, ​Bioforte said. When given to laying hens, the egg laying rate improved and in aquatic animals it improved feed efficiency rates. 

The nutritional supplement was most effective when blended into feed at an inclusion rate of 50-90%, of the overall feed mass, it said, the rest could be made up of plant, animal or microbial proteins.

Ready to upscale

Lesley Lei, overseas marketing manager at Bioforte Biotechnology, said the company was ready to upscale production, given the right interest.

“It is a proven product,” ​Lei told FeedNavigator, but the company had not yet produced the nutritional supplement on a large scale for industry. “...If companies are interested in it, we could definitely talk about it. We are open to all kinds of communication​.” 

Investment in insect production has been on the rise across various global markets and the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF) will also soon release guidance on insect production best practice. 

Source: WIPO Publication No. WO2018107455

Published: June 26, 2018. Filed: December 15, 2016.

Title: “Animal nutrition fortifying agent and application thereof”

Authors: Bioforte Biotechnology – H. Wenfeng, P. Xu, L. Chujun, Z. Haiyong and Z. Jianfeng

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