New US research platform aiming to plug scientific and industrial gaps related to insect farming

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

Del Gatlin and Jeff Tomberlin will lead the Center for Environmental Sustainability through Insect Farming at Texas A&M. Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Del Gatlin and Jeff Tomberlin will lead the Center for Environmental Sustainability through Insect Farming at Texas A&M. Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M AgriLife Communications

Related tags: Insect, Poultry, Aquaculture, Tyson foods, Beta Hatch

Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists are set to explore insect farming for food and feed.

A newly awarded US$2.2m grant from the US National Science Foundation has established the Center for Environmental Sustainability through Insect Farming, and the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has been assigned as the lead site for the center.

Mississippi State University (MSU) and Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI) will also participate in the work, while 34 US and global industrial partners including Mars Inc., Tyson Foods and insect companies as Aspire Food Groups, Protix and Beta Hatch Inc, are signing up to the research alliance as well. 

Insect farming has been identified as a practical, economical, environmentally sound and sustainable method for producing high-value protein, argues the Texas A&M team.

Jeff Tomberlin of the Department of Entomology and Del Gatlin of the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology will lead the center on the Texas A&M campus; they said the research will explore new avenues to produce food either for direct human consumption or as feed for livestock, poultry and aquaculture.

Environmental gains  

Insect farming represents a burgeoning link in the global food supply chain and has the potential to strengthen and compliment traditional protein production in an efficient and environmentally friendly way, believes Tomberlin.

“Insect farming has the potential to relieve some of the pressure on our increasing agro-industrial systems across the globe.”

Incorporating insect protein into feed for fish, poultry and pork production will reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint, including land and water use, waste and pollution emissions, he continued.

Insects like crickets and mealworms have shown promise as a high-protein food option for people, he added.

“Insect farming is a relatively new concept in the US, but the significance of its potential is widely recognized throughout the world​. It is relevant to all livestock and agriculture production, and for Texas A&M to be the central site for this center is enormous for us as an institution.”

Interdisciplinary expertise

The researchers will engage interdisciplinary expertise in microbiology, engineering, chemistry, food nutrition, physiology and biology with cutting edge technologies in labs and in the field to fill scientific and industrial gaps related to insect farming.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists will examine optimization in production and development of food as well as feed products for poultry, swine, aquaculture and pets, while the IUPUI and MSU team will target genetics and quality assurances related to microbiology, respectively.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

The future of animal nutrition includes clean feed

The future of animal nutrition includes clean feed

Hamlet Protein | 04-May-2021 | Technical / White Paper

Clean feed is defined by high-quality ingredients that enhance not only nutrient composition and digestibility, but also long-term health and performance....

An expertise worth sharing...

An expertise worth sharing...

Hamlet Protein | 23-Mar-2021 | Technical / White Paper

Scientific research, performance trials and a patented process - we've dedicated it all to creating the most outstanding vegetable proteins for young...

Can soy be the sustainable protein of choice?

Can soy be the sustainable protein of choice?

Hamlet Protein | 02-Mar-2021 | Technical / White Paper

When cultivated and processed in a responsible manner, soy can be the sustainable protein source of choice for animals, consumers and our planet. All our...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars