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Within a context of diminishing resources and land, of an increase in the world's population, of environmental deterioration and a strong European dependence on protein, innovative solutions for the production of food resources deserve to be studied, since they protect biodiversity and ecosystems, where they are culturally acceptable, healthy and without risk for the consumer, nutritionally adequate, culturally acceptable, economically sound and realistic. Insects appear to be an interesting raw material for many industries, particularly the agri-food industry, as a resource for either animal or human consumption. Thus insects have been identified as a strategic development area by many worldwide institutions, such as the FAO, which promotes insects in this way. In 2010, two European projects, to which no French player is contributing, were launched to anticipate and foster the development of the emerging insect industry.
In response to theme 2 of the ANR ALID call for projects, the DESIRABLE project proposes to cover the issues regarding the under-valuation of biomass co-products and the local production of resources rich in protein, via a process of bioconversion by insects into proteins suitable for carnivorous or omnivorous animal feed, these proteins being substituted for soya meal or fish meal in the formulations of the fish and poultry industries. Insects intended for direct human consumption are outside the scope of this project. The DESIRABLE project is an ambitious project that includes a global view of the industry, from the use of organic waste down to the final act of purchasing and consuming fish and poultry. The bioconversion unit, known as a biorefinery in reference to similar projects using vegetal resources, will be studied in detail. Laboratory-scale experiments and a pilot will be undertaken for each of the components of the biorefinery: breeding, processing and product use. A full Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) will provide an overall view of the system. Two fundamental hypotheses have been formulated for the project  (1) the sustainability of the insect industry goes hand in hand with the recycling of currently under-exploited co-products with a view to using them as a supplement and not as a substitute for already existing recycling techniques, thus reducing the volume of waste to be processed, and  (2) the mealworm (Tenebrio Molitor) and the black soldier fly (Hermetia Illucens), widely covered by literature and the subject of numerous publications, are pertinent choices in the context of a biorefinery. The project combines the excellent skills of a wide panel of scientific as well as entrepreneurial expertise, in order to carry out an in-depth study of the components of the biorefinery and the global industry: the expertise of the academic partners in entomology, food technology, animal feed, sensory analysis, LCA, along with those of the partners from SME's in the fields of breeding and processing techniques, will enable us to optimise the biorefinery and pragmatically assess the potential industrial benefits. The DESIRABLE project is an important step in the emergence of the innovative, local, sustainable and strategic industry which is that of the insect.

Partners :




This project, labellised by the AQUIMER Pole of Competitiveness on the 20th April 2012, is co-labellised by the Valorial and Vitagora Poles.


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62200 Boulogne-sur-Mer F

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