Maggots Nurtured For Protein Feed Alternative

GLOBAL - The humble maggot (larva of a fly) is being nurtured as an alternative protein source for livestock and fish farming feed, and could eventually reduce global reliance on the multi-billion dollar fishmeal industry.
calendar icon 25 November 2011
clock icon 1 minute read

A South African-based entrepreneur and his environmentalist brother have established a small pilot plant near Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, that will be up scaled next year into a trial plant converting millions of the grubs into one and half tons of a rich protein powder per day to supplement commercial livestock and fish diets.

According to its website, Agriprotein Technologies is pioneering the industrialisation of maggot farming as part of a “new industry called nutrient recycling: using organic waste to create protein” the core of which is a “protein-based feed [derived from maggots] for monogastric [single stomach] animals…. varying neither in protein content nor amino acid composition.”

The fishmeal industry predominantly catches small pelagic fish, which are processed into a highly nutritious powder that is one of the mainstays of commercial animal and fish food production, although opinion remains divided as to the impact the industry has on ocean resources.

Fishmeal as a protein powder is currently unrivalled. While vegetable proteins such as soya and sunflower are also used as supplements, they are less efficient.

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