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Alternative pet food : maggots before swine

For years, climate-try-conscious scientists to make along with business conscious entrepreneurs and kitchens of chefs, human consumers of insects as a food Alternative palatable. But really, you not in this country and elsewhere, as a treat, so far. Maybe they come to their triumphant success in the food industry, but soon take a detour - as a protein source in feed for pigs, chickens and fish. "In the first Moment this may sound for consumers unaccustomed to, but the chickens in free-range peck also regularly worms and insects out of the ground, and cattle not to disconnect the pasture, the Grass of the small animals," says Rainer Benning, food techno in Bremerhaven, Lodge at the College.

meal worm flour instead of soy flour

farmed animals, especially pigs and chickens, need proteins in the feed. Most of these are mixed in the Form of soy food. 2.7 million tons of soybeans in 2017, imported meal, according to the Federal Ministry of food and agriculture, mainly from Brazil. That always makes for criticism, as for the cultivation of valuable habitats are destroyed.

you can Also use fish meal, mainly from Morocco and Peru, is used as a source of Protein for animal feed. It is because of the Overfishing of the oceans, but not only controversial, but also expensive. "Insects can be a solution," says Benning.

Together with the universities of Göttingen and Erlangen, as well as the research Association of feed technology in Braunschweig, the University explored Bremerhaven therefore, as insects are mass produced and then blanched can be mixed, dried, and milled into the lining. "If we want to replace soybean and fish meal, we need masses of insects. That is the difficulty," explains Sebastian Demtröder, an employee of Benning, the output location.

The environmental organization, WWF sees the use of insects for animal feed, especially advantages when the larvae were fed with organic waste products. "If non-protein-containing vegetable Material are proteins made, is this a useful cycle," says Matthias Meissner of WWF. However, the energy demand in the insect breeding is quite high.

larvae-"harvest"

so Far, the breeding of flour beetle larvae, especially by hand. To be able to produce in quantities, to be used in automated production lines. "The machines must recognize when the animals are large enough to Harvest, at the same time may not be maintained for too long, in order for the larvae to pupate," says Demtröder. In addition, the machine has to detect, if possible, how high the current content of fat and Protein in the larva.

In the research laboratory at the University of the larvae are reared in Bremerhaven on wheat bran. In the glass cube rule 26 degrees Celsius and 70 percent humidity. Approximately 100 kg of flour worms spiral vessels in total in the stainless steel. In the next room you come to a device that separates the animals from the bran and feces. After the drying process. Five different methods were tested. "With freeze-drying we have achieved the best results, but it is also the most expensive," says Benning.

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food of the future Why insects soon all will save

Felix Denk

Try the University of Göttingen showed that chickens, pigs, and perch feed and grow on insects, based at least as well as animals with conventional feed. Demtröder: "You can replace soy so without loss." (Janet Binder, dpa)

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