Insects are an emerging alternative protein source. As a core pillar of a circular agricultural environment, insects can turn low quality food waste into higher quality proteins, oil and fertiliser. Insect protein also has the potential to replace the highly unsustainable fishmeal.
To make insect protein more attractive, the production cost need to come down. A key approach is to start with better insects, which can be developed through breeding and genetic programmes, similar to the breeding programmes that have been in use in poultry, pigs, and cattle for the last 50-100 years.
At Roslin Tech, we have set up a breeding program for black soldier fly, one of the most used sources for insect protein. We have established a genetic nucleus where our black soldier fly populations are housed and bred. We are currently evaluating multiple lines that we are testing with commercial producers.