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Mealworm meal found to have poor environmental performance compared with fishmeal or soy

A new study has found that mealworm meal does not perform as well as soybean or fish meal proteins in LCA. The study assessed the environmental performance of mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) larvae meal via life cycle assessment (LCA) from cradle to mill gate and found that with an FCR of 1.98, feeding mealworm meal to poultry or fish would decrease the economic and environmental efficiency of these production systems. \"These recent results highlight gray areas in sustainable mass-rearing systems; however, several important value-chain issues need to be addressed before continuing development of insect production for the animal-feed sector.\"

October 19, 2017


A new study has found that mealworm meal does not perform as well as soybean or fish meal proteins in LCA. 

The study assessed the environmental performance of mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) larvae meal via life cycle assessment (LCA) from cradle to mill gate. 

Uncertainty and global sensitivity analyses were performed on the environmental performance of the production system using four parameters that experts identify as critical to this performance: feed intake, electricity consumption at the farm stage, electricity consumption at the processing stage, and meal and oil yield at the processing stage.

The global sensitivity analysis highlights that meal and oil yields are critical parameters that greatly influence variation in the environmental performance of the product. Feed intake and electricity consumption also have considerable influence on variation in the output. 

The study found that with an FCR of 1.98, feeding mealworm meal to fish or poultry would decrease the economic and environmental efficiency of these production systems. Thus, using mealworm meal in animal feed does not currently decrease environmental impacts of livestock.

\"These recent results highlight gray areas in sustainable mass-rearing systems; however, several important value-chain issues need to be addressed before continuing development of insect production for the animal-feed sector,\" concuded the study authors. 

Read the complete study results in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

 

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