The search for new protein sources as an alternative for existing protein such as meat and soy is increasing. Insects are a good alternative, as they are full of protein. Insects can be grown on residual flows from the food chain, so insect breeding contributes to sustainable livestock farming.
Market interest in insects for food (human food), but especially for feed (animal food) is increasing. For animal feed, there is a demand for live larvae for the poultry sector and insect oil for piglet and turkey feed. In order to meet the increasing demand, it is necessary to upscale the production capacity.
Insect Breeding requires a lot of manual labor
Feeding insects is labor-intensive, as in most cases this is now done manually. Mechanization and automation are necessary to achieve higher production volumes and to keep the cost price attractive.
Development of a feeding machine
Last January, Tim van Heertum started as a project engineer at VDL Agrotech. Tim mainly focuses on the development of feeding machines for insects.
“Insect breeders have the main expertise of insect breeding in the insect industry. They often know exactly what they desire because of their many years of experience. Close cooperation with the various parties ensures the correct input for the development of the feeding machine. Each breeder uses his own feed curves, which creates variation in volumes, recipes, and feeding times. This requires a customized customer solution. That is something we are specialized in at VDL Agrotech. We have many years of experience in feeding machines for pigs and poultry. We can use this knowledge for the insect market, ”says Tim van Heertum of VDL Agrotech.
Tim van Heertum, project engineer VDL Agrotech
VDL Agrotech offers solutions to simplify the current production process and will supply complete feeding machines for the insect market in the near future.