AgriProtein has been developing its insect based protein feed, extruded oil, and fertilisers since 2009. Following five years of parallel academic and manufacturing research, AgriProtein has raised $11 million from strategic partners to commercialise and globalise its IP. The company broke ground on its first industrial scale factory ’F1’ in May 2014. The plant will come on line in 2015 and produce 7 tonnes of MagMeal™, 3 tonnes of MagOil™ and 20 tonnes of MagSoil™ per day. Locations for the second factory are currently under evaluation.
The world urgently needs new sustainable sources of protein. A growing population, scarce water and land resources as well as declining natural fish stocks, make this more critical than ever.
Industrial farming of chickens, pigs and fish relies on protein from two sources, land-based soya plantations and marine fishmeal. Agricultural protein requires vast amounts of land and water, while the sea caught alternative has material consequences for marine life. Increases in global food demand, and environmental issues have caused prices of both protein sources to soar in recent years.
AgriProtein is leading a new industry called nutrient recycling. Using fly larvae fed on abundant waste nutrient sources, AgriProtein has developed and tested a new large scale and sustainable source of natural protein. The nutrient recycling bioconversion process utilizes waste food as raw materials and generates valuable feed components: an insect based protein meal - MagMeal™, an extracted fat - MagOil™ and a nutrient rich soil conditioner - MagSoil™.
Insect larvae are the natural food of chickens in the wild and fish in streams. Their nutritional composition is as good as that of fishmeal and better than soya. As a natural food it has excellent take on and digestibility properties.
The fundamentals behind AgriProtein’s waste to protein platform are millions of years old. Flies were already laying eggs in dinosaur waste and carcasses during the Jurassic period. Their larvae eventually became the natural feed source for fowl and fish, and remains a source of nutrients for free range chickens and fresh water fish of today.
AgriProtein has mimicked nature and the natural cycle of the different fly species we work with to create the ideal mix between the waste we feed the larvae, and the amino acid balance in the protein produced when they are harvested. Our technology and operating procedures manage life stages in sixty-minute intervals, ensuring our flies have the optimal balance of light, heat and humidity to trigger the highest levels of mating, egg fertility and larval growth.
AgriProtein has been and remains very focused on the mass production of insect protein. Our research association with the University of Stellenbosch has enabled us to run a number of future reaching research programmes. These range from investigating the use the natural anti-inflammatory properties of larvae to heal lame sheep to their high concentrations of bio-available iron to reduce anaemia in piglets when used in hog feeds. AgriProtein entomologists are also pioneering fly fertility programmes, whilst our animal nutritionist’s continue to test the use our feeds in complex and sensitive rearing environments, such as those for Abalone.
The larvae perform the first process in our operation, turning one hundred and ten tonnes per day of organic food waste into a loamy soil enhancer, MagSoil™. The process is similar to that in a domestic worm bin, except at an industrial scale and lightning speed!
Each day we harvest and separate the mature larvae from the MagSoil™ and set to work sterilising, processing and preparing the larvae into the world’s most sustainable and natural animal protein for use in agricultural feed preparations.
The harvested larvae are washed and quickly dried. MagOil™ is separated and our different larvae cakes are blended and bagged into one tonne sacks ready for delivery to our customers.
The Quality Control (QC) chain begins with traceability of the organic ‘waste’, tested on arrival and then blended and processed into a formulated larval feed - LarvaeMunch™ before it enters the grow out areas.
As well as best practice farming and factory management control processes we have a dedicated QC team. They are responsible for testing and monitoring a wide range of parameters within each of thirteen key processing stages. This ensures a quality assured and homogenous end product for our clients.