Darling Ingredients becomes sole owner of US insect feed production company

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages
© GettyImages

Related tags black soldier fly Insect Protein

Darling Ingredients today announced that it has acquired the 50% joint venture interest of EnviroFlight, LLC owned by Intrexon Corporation, thereby making it the full owner of the US insect protein producer.

Enviroflight opened its first commercial Black Solder Fly (BSF) based facility in Maysville, Kentucky in late 2018.

Since late 2014, EnviroFlight has collaborated with Darling Ingredients to refine its scalable production processes for BSF larvae. Darling acquired a 50% ownership interest in EnviroFlight in 2016. Darling said its operational expertise in this area combined with EnviroFlight's innovative approach employing BSF larvae (BSFL) is leveraged to standardize processes for creating and optimizing BSFL-based feed.  

“Expanding our ownership of EnviroFlight empowers us to accelerate our ability to create higher value, sustainable specialty proteins for the agriculture and companion animal feed industries,"​ said Randall Stuewe, CEO, Darling Ingredients.

"Our purpose is to repurpose, and growing insects for specialty feed ingredients yields 10 times the usable protein per acre compared to producing algae and is at least 50 times the protein per acre compared to soy,"​ he added.

EnviroFlight maintains that phase 1 of its new production facility in Kentucky has the capacity to produce 900 tons of dried BSFL on an annual basis. Its dried black soldier fly larvae meal is produced from oven dried larvae. The meal is pressed larvae, removing a portion of the oil to provide a high protein ground product. The fat content can be customized based on the customer’s needs, said the company. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to ensure all US animal feed ingredients meet nutrition and safety standards before use. EnviroFlight said it is working with the FDA to evaluate ingredients through this process. To date, in the US, BSF ingredients have been permitted for use with salmonids and poultry.

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