The company recently launched its B2B2C brand, Sprÿng, for the pet food market, which it said is easy-to-incorporate, neutral-tasting, odorless and light brown in color. The ingredients, which can be used in both wet and dry food, boast the highest protein content in the insect market (up to 71%) and low ash content (less than 5%), maintains the developer.
Alice Pabst Landon, head of marketing at Ÿnsect, said that pet food manufacturers were recognizing the potential of mealworm, and that the company has short-term and more longer-term development goals for its ingredient in relation to that sector.
Dogs and cats are increasingly prone to developing allergies or other adverse reactions to the protein in their foods, resulting in dermatological and/or gastro-intestinal problems like inflammation. In the short term, changing pets’ diet to a protein source that is unfamiliar to the immune system, such as mealworm protein, is a quick way to tackle the problem. Because the pet has not been extensively exposed to the protein source before, the risk of the immune system reacting to the protein is minimized for a period, said the developer.
However, integrating insect proteins in the form of hydrolysates offers a longer-term solution. By introducing small peptides and a protein modification/heat treatment, allergenicity is permanently reduced. Moreover, thanks to its peptide nature, hydrolysates are highly digestible with 90% peptic digestibility, and do not contain fibers, according to Ÿnsect.
Ÿnsect has constructed a production facility in Amiens, northern France, and has another plant in Dole, in eastern France that is already delivering to its pet food customers. The objective is to eventually have a significant number of farms locations globally.
Pabst Landon described the UK pet food market as “dynamic” and said it was collaborating with pet food manufacturers in the country. But she highlighted that there were some challenges in exporting to the UK from its France based factories due to Brexit related obstacles.
While Ÿnsect is focusing on ingredients for cats and dogs, there is also an opportunity in the Gekko and lizard market for its mealworm product, she said.
In April, the company unveiled its plans to refocus the business, saying it would be increasing its development efforts on high-margin markets like pet food and human consumption "for now".
Meanwhile, at the end of last year, Ÿnsect, reported that it had inked two major agreements for new facility builds: one in the US with Ardent Mills and another in Mexico with Corporativo Kosmos.