Enterra meal and whole dried BSF larvae. (Photo: Enterra)
CFIA approves the use of fly larvae for aquaculture feed
Thursday, February 16, 2017, 22:20 (GMT + 9)
Enterra Feed Corporation has received approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to sell its whole dried black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae as a feed ingredient for salmonids (salmon, trout and arctic charr).
This is the first Canadian approval of an insect-based aquaculture feed ingredient, and follows the CFIA's approval using this same product in feed for chicken broilers. The company received a similar U.S. approval for use in salmonid feeds in 2016.
"Fish eat insects in their natural environment and our product is a healthy, digestible and renewable source of protein and fat that can replace less sustainable ingredients, including fish meal and soybean meal," Andrew Vickerson, Chief Technology Officer at Enterra, explained.
The company highlights that fish meal production, which is a standard aquaculture feed ingredient, can impact on wild ocean fish stocks and is subject to substantial price fluctuations. Soybean meal, in turn, requires significant agricultural inputs that could otherwise be used more efficiently to grow food for people.
In contrast, the British Columbia-based company uses the larvae of the black soldier fly, a beneficial insect species that is highly efficient at upcycling complex nutrients in pre-consumer waste food into an excellent source of protein and fat, perfect for inclusion in feed for fish, poultry, pets and zoo animals.
In Dr. Brad Hicks' opinion, a veterinarian and partner in Taplow Feeds, an aquaculture feed manufacturer, "This product will contribute to healthy, active fish and is a great alternative feed ingredient."
The company collects recycled pre-consumer food from farms, grocery stores, and food producers, wastes that would otherwise be sent to landfill, compost, or waste-to-energy facilities where nutritional value would be lost or underutilized.
With these waste, Enterra feeds the larvae of the black soldier fly that grow rapidly under controlled conditions.
Once mature, the larvae are transformed into renewable feed ingredients in the form of larvae of whole dried black soldier flies, meal (made from defatted larvae) and oil (extracted from larvae).
Through its proprietary process, it has converted tens of thousands of metric tonnes of pre-consumer waste food into sustainable feed ingredients for its growing customer base.
Enterra's sales have tripled each year since its farm in Langley, British Columbia, opened in 2014.
The company plans to expand its existing facility and establish additional farms in Canada and the U.S. to meet the increased customer demand anticipated to result from future U.S. and Canadian approvals of a complementary feed product, Enterra Meal. It expects to get these approvals in 2017.