Entec Nutrition wins Innovate UK research grant

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Entec Nutrition wins £250,000 grant to explore the science behind insect-based feeds.

In order for the UK to meet its net zero carbon emissions target by 2050, it is crucial that greenhouse gas emissions from food production are minimised. As both an emissions source and a sink, the UK agriculture sector has set the ambitious goal of reaching net zero emissions across the whole of agriculture in England and Wales by 2040. Including insects in feeds for farmed animals is a promising way to provide high-quality feed nutrition, while reducing the carbon footprint of farming by providing a sustainable alternative to soya and fishmeal and increasing food production resilience. Entec Nutrition have impressed the Innovate UK panel to win a £250,000 grant to lead a one year project exploring the science behind insect nutrition in animal feed, as part of the ‘Transforming Food Production’ initiative.

Entec Nutrition will collaborate with multidisciplinary partners including Campden BRI and the University of Exeter to explore efficient insect production methodologies for the poultry and aquaculture (fish farming) sectors, with the aim of lowering the cost of production and significantly supporting the reduction of the carbon footprint of the UK’s animal feed industry.
The research grant will allow Entec Nutrition to explore efficient insect production methodologies for the poultry and aquaculture (fish farming) sectors. The inclusion of insects in the diet of farmed animals could bring significant health and sustainability benefits.

Speaking of the opportunity, Dr Olivia Champion, who co-founded Entec Nutrition with University of Exeter colleague Professor Richard Titball said “We are thrilled to have won this Innovate UK grant with our research partners. It’s really exciting for Entec Nutrition to form part of the UK’s clean innovation solutions to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The funding will allow us to explore methods for low-energy production of insects to lower the cost of production and the environmental impact of the feed industry.”

Campden BRI are specialists in food and drink innovation with over 2,500 member companies in 80 countries. Campden BRI will be working with Entec Nutrition to develop the methodology to produce insect-derived protein and oil ingredients. This will include separation, drying, milling and analysis of each product’s characteristics including nutrition, shelf-life, functionality and properties. The collaboration between Campden BRI and Entec Nutrition extends beyond the Innovate UK initiative, with additional work being carried out through a smaller EU-funded project with similar objectives. Ingredients research team leader, Tiia Morsky, from Campden BRI said “The second project will build on our findings by further developing methods that will produce nutritious oil-rich and protein-rich ingredients from insects. The nutritional content of these ingredients will then be assessed for poultry-feed producers and shelf-life, and we’ll also identify any biological or chemical contaminants.”

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