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UK company testing novel bioprocessing technique to boost the nutritional and functional benefits of insect-derived feeds

With support from Innovate UK and the European Institute of Technology, UK-based Entomics is using a novel bioprocessing technique to boost the nutritional and functional benefits of insect-derived feeds; they have termed their microbial fermentation technology "Metamorphosis."

August 3, 2018

UK-based Entomics, a startup that transforms food waste into three sustainable ‘fuels’ for plants, animals and vehicles using Black Soldier Fly as a conversion catalyst, is currently working with researchers at Stirling University to validate and test their products in the field.

With support from Innovate UK and the European Institute of Technology, Entomics is using a novel bioprocessing technique to boost the nutritional and functional benefits of insect-derived feeds; they have termed their microbial fermentation technology "Metamorphosis."

"There are several benefits to this process," explains Miha Pipan, Chief Scientific Officer and fellow co-founder, "from affecting the gut's microbiome and trying to preserve a healthier bacterial community there, to training immune systems to make livestock more resistant to disease challenges and at the same time reduce the need for veterinary medicines, antibiotics and vaccines." 

The Entomics team is also working on an engineering project to build a smart, modular system for insect production in the future. This includes developing computer vision algorithms to understand and monitor insect behavior during the production process – for example, the insects' growth and health.

"The world's looking for more sustainable sources of feed and I think increasingly there's a recognition that it's not just about basic nutrition, but it's about overall health," says McLaren. "We're trying to take a promising, sustainable ingredient of the future – these insect-derived feeds – and trying to add a bit of biotechnology or science focus to it, to really enhance what the effect is in the end application and reduce reliance on traditional antibiotics and veterinary medicines."

Entomics Biosystems was set up in 2015 by a group of students from the University of Cambridge, with support from the Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre's Accelerate Cambridge program.