Back-to-back to the general meeting on 20-21st June 2017, the University of Parma, partner in the InDIRECT project, organised an open stakeholders meeting. The aim was (1) to present the objectives of the InDIRECT project and (2) to exchange needs/activities of stakeholders in Italy and in the InDIRECT consortium. The workshop was attended by 25 people.
Specific subset of the Programme: General discussion in discussion groups
Discussion groups on two tables
Participants were divided in two tables for discussion on (A) Insect production and (B) use of insect derived products. At the end of the discussion, participants were asked to give their opinion on a series of statements resuming the main issues of discussion, completing a checklist specific for each table of discussion. The checklist contained a series of statements about the topic of discussion and participants were asked to express their grade of agreement/disagreement. Results were elaborated giving a numerical value from 1 to 5 (1=strongly disagree, 2=disagree, 3=neither agree nor disagree, 4=agree, 5= strongly agree) to each participant response. The mean values for each statement in each table are reported below.
TABLE A: Insect Production
Results of survey (6 participants)
Results of survey showed that the main issues (score>4) for the stakeholder involved in the insect production are the optimization of insect feed composition, the standardization of the production system and also the up-scaling of the production.
Main comments of the discussion
Regarding the insect species emerged the need of selecting other species useful for the bioconversion of food by-products and waste; the possibility of using pests was highlighted as opportunity. There is a lack of data on the insect nutritional requirement, which is the principal barrier to formulate a correct feed composition for each insect. The ideal situation could be the availability of a software, as for other farmed animals, giving the correct nutritional components needed for each insect. Another important point emerged is that insect producers are currently not prepared to scale up the production in the case of an increasing demand. Now, prices of production are too high and, consequently, a feed based on insects is not competitive with other common feeds, as for example fishmeal.
Table B: Use of insects derived products
Results of survey (15 participants)
Results of survey showed that the main issues (score>4) for the stakeholders are safety aspects, consumer acceptance and development of protocols for insect processing
Main comments of the discussion
The main market foreseen for insect materials is feed, since food will have the issue of social acceptance. Now it is costly, but more research and more development will push down the prices. Biodiesel and biofuels do not seem to be a profitable market. For lipids and chitin, but also for proteins, it is absolutely necessary to find high added value application to make it economically viable (pharma, cosmetics?), but there is always the issue of social acceptance. Safety issues should be like any other food or feed, they are important, but not different. It is essential to address consumer behavior. For food security, insects will be the key element in the future.
There is a need to select mor suitable insect species and strains
There is a need to optimize insect feed composition
The current availability of cheap insect feed (waste, side-streams) is enough to obtain an optimal feed
Established and standardized production system is a priority
Mass production at an industrial scale is currently a challenge
Producing a constant insect supply is a priority
There is a need to reduce insect sale price
There is a need to define protocols for insect killing
There are concerns about the risk of pathogen transfer in the production system
The overall sustainability and environmental impacts of insect farming need to be further investigated
Direct use of insects for pets, aquaculture and farm animals is the main expected market
The use of insect protein fraction as feed supplement is the main expected market
The use of insect fat as biodiesel is important
Chitin from insects could be an alternative source to crustaceans for chitosan productions
There is the need of established insects processing and fractionation
Extraction of pure compounds for food supplements represents a key point to entrance the value chain of insect derived products
There is a need to assure the safety of insect derived products
The technologies currently available for insect fractionation are enough
Researches on consumer attitudes and behavior are essential
There is the need of more data on nutritional composition of insects
Insects consumption will be a key aspect in the global food security
Food safety issues should be deeply investigated, in particular for mycotoxins coming out and allergens