WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio and IRVING, Texas, - Intrexon Corp. announced an agreement to acquire EnviroFlight and form a joint venture with Darling Ingredients. The deal allows the nurturing of non-pathogenic black soldier fly (BSF) larvae, which can be used as a nutrient in livestock feed, in an industrial scale.
"We are excited to enter this new collaboration with Intrexon, a leader in bio-based solutions to global problems, and to further enhance our broad bio-nutrient product portfolio continuing our goal of providing nutritional, functional, and ecological ingredients for animals," said Randall Stuewe, chairman and CEO of Darling Ingredients.
The innovative approach has considerable potential within the $60 billion global animal feed industry. The release from the companies said this system could provide an environmentally-friendly, toxin-free, sustainable source of high-value nutrients.
"Current trends in human population growth drive increased demand for protein supply in food production, and we believe that BSF larvae provide the potential to revolutionize the animal feed industries," said Corey Huck, senior vice president and head of Intrexon's food sector. "Through our partnership with Darling, the world's largest producer of sustainable natural ingredients, we look forward to employing EnviroFlight's platform to create high-nutrition, low environmental impact animal, and fish feed as well as fertilizer products."
EnviroFlight’s scalable approach utilizes BSF larvae to provide high-quality nutrients for the aquaculture and livestock industries. Especially within the fish and poultry markets, BSF larvae may be more representative of the typical diet of these natural insectivores than soy meal and other plant-based meal regimens.
"Black Soldier Fly larvae meal may represent a very useful ingredient in aquaculture and importantly it has no impact on the marine ecosystem," stated Rick Barrows, PhD., research physiologist for agricultural research service in the USDA.
Barrows added, "Starter diets for rainbow trout incorporating BSF larvae meal resulted in an increase in feed consumption and growth, showing high palatability suggesting it could be useful with some of the more finicky species such as salmon and yellowtail. Furthermore, we have also found the essential nutrients in BSF larvae meal to have high digestibility."
Along with reducing the weakening of marine ecosystems and lessening dependence on non-sustainable protein sources, EnviroFlight’s insect-based approach offers potential to recover the abundant food surpluses given its ability converting organic materials into valuable proteins and oils.
EnviroFlight continues working with regulatory agencies to gain approvals for BSF larvae for food animals, but will continue to put animal feed and all-natural fertilizers in select markets.
"EnviroFlight has focused on driving necessary change in the global food supply chain, and we look forward to working with Intrexon and Darling Ingredients to realize the considerable promise of insect bioconversion to offer solutions that meet this goal," said Glen Courtright, president of EnviroFlight.