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Protix achieves new levels of sustainability

LCA shows improved results driven by continuous improvement across operations, genetics and nutritional science.

Protix factory. Credits: Protix
April 23, 2024

Insect company Protix unveils the results of a new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted by the German Institute of Food Technologies (Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik, DIL e.V.). The figures follow the numbers published in an earlier assessment conducted in 2022 with improved results driven by continuous improvement across operations, genetics and nutritional science.

All Protix products yielded standout results:

  • ProteinX® insect meal reduces CO2 emissions by 78% compared with poultry meal (ProteinX: 0.832 kg CO2 eq; poultry meal: 3.8 kg CO2 eq). Poultry meal is often used in pet food and livestock feed. Compared to soy protein concentrate, an ingredient often used in aquaculture, ProteinX lowers CO2 emissions by as much as 89% (ProteinX: 0.832 kg CO2 eq; soy protein concentrate: 7.5 kg CO2 eq).
  • LipidX® insect fat dramatically reduces land use, using 99.9% less than coconut oil (LipidX: 0.0102 m2 land use and coconut oil: 12.98 m2 land use). Coconut oil is commonly used as a fat source in livestock and aquaculture feed as well as in pet food.
  • PureeX® insect meat uses a staggering 99.8% less water than poultry meat (PureeX at 0.098 m3 and poultry meat at 61.13 kg m3). Poultry meat is commonly used in pet food as a high moisture protein source.
  • Protix's insect frass shows only 0.01 kg CO2 eq. per kilogram of product.
  • Larvae, used as feed for livestock, show 0.198 kg CO2 eq. per kilogram of product.

Kees Aarts, CEO of Protix, said, “We take pride in leading innovations within our industry on a pathway to low-footprint-no-footprint proteins. With our previous LCA, we shared the vision that the environmental footprint of our black soldier fly ingredients could be reduced and we have lived up to that promise: the latest DIL figures once again demonstrate an improvement in the footprint of our Protix ingredients. We look forward to translating these LCA numbers into new commercial opportunities to help our customers produce better and greener.”

Data to count on

Protix understands the importance of a robust scientific foundation for its products. The company is heavily invested in substantiating its findings and sharing data that manufacturers can translate into compelling claims.

This latest LCA was conducted by DIL, the German Institute of Food Technologies. This is a private, non-profit research provider with around 150 member companies from the food industry and related fields. As in the previous LCA, the results are based on the established and proven IMPACT 2002+ methodology. To further support the robustness of the findings, the results were compared against benchmark results from literature and relevant databases.

However, Protix’s mission extends beyond the numbers and methodologies. The company is driven to create genuine, meaningful change in the food system. The data were taken from the year 2023, with the plant running at designed capacity. Protix is positioned to calculate with real production data from an industrial-scale facility operating at full capacity.

While these latest LCA data relate directly to Protix insects derived from larvae of the black soldier fly, they also shine a light on exciting potential for the insect industry as a whole to reduce the environmental impact of feed and food.

“This is an exciting time for a change in the pet food, animal feed and fertilizer industries and we are scaling up our operations to meet demand. We are confident that we can achieve further outstanding figures in the future as we invest in improved genetics and build on our already deep knowledge of insect farming. When feedstock legislation changes, this will be a further driver of a lower footprint for our beloved black soldier fly. A tiny creature, but an impactful eco-warrior,” Aarts said.

Download the paper here.