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20th June 2024  Content supplied by: WEDA Dammann & Westerkamp GmbH

Agroloop Builds Insect Factory for Animal Feed With WEDA

  • Agroloop Hungary is investing over 20 million euros in the plant, which will produce around 10,000 tons of end product annually.
  • The insect feed market is expected to reach a total annual turnover of €2 billion by the end of the decade, producing 1 million tonnes of insect meal per year.
  • WEDA's conveyor technology from the agricultural sector ensures reliable transport of the substrates.
  • The modular design of the feed kitchen allows for easy integration of additional tanks into the existing system.
  • The investment promotes the expansion of Agroloop's production capacities and technological development, contributing to the development of the domestic circular economy based on biomass.

Use of proven components from agricultural technology
The German feeding technology specialist WEDA Dammann & Westerkamp is supplying the Hungarian insect producer Agroloop with feeding technologies for its new black soldier fly larvae rearing facility. The plant for the industrial production of the feed insect is currently being built near Budapest Airport, and will go into operation in autumn 2024. Agroloop Hungary is significantly increasing its existing larvae breeding capacities for the European market with a more than 20 million euros plant investment. By the conclusion of this year, the agrotech company is expected to receive 120 tonnes of raw material per day, of which 6,000 tonnes of soil improver granules, nearly 3,000 tonnes of feed protein, and more than 600 tonnes of feed fat will be produced annually – producing around 10 000 tons of end product in their 13,000 square metre plant.

High-quality insect-based feed proteins are increasingly being used as a health-promoting source of protein for the pet food and livestock feed segment. Given a rapidly growing world population, the global demand for animal proteins is expected to increase by around 100 per cent by 2050. The insect feed market is estimated to reach a total annual turnover of €2 billion by the end of the decade, producing 1 million tonnes of insect meal per year.

Over 20,000 tonnes of substrates per year
WEDA’s scope of delivery includes the complete feed kitchen, in which liquid and dry by-products from the food industry are processed into a viscous feed mash. Three mixing tanks are installed in parallel in the plant for this purpose. The mash is mixed and dosed according to fixed recipes. The larvae of the soldier fly develop into full-grown larvae in a short time on the food mash created in this way. “After the last construction phase, Agroloop can convert more than 40,000 tonnes of substrates per year – with the system producing in a two-shift process,” reports Gerrit Niehues, the WEDA product manager responsible. Sufficiently large storage containers for the feed ingredients are also part of the WEDA equipment, so sufficient buffer is always available.

All this contributes significantly to the circular operation that Agroloop represents: they use feed-grade by-products with valuable nutritional content to feed the larvae, which convert low-value biomass into high-quality feed protein and fat. This process has a much lower ecological footprint compared to other conventional animal feedstock production, requiring 30 times less land and 40 times less water per equivalent weight while producing 40 times less carbon emissions than the average livestock production.

CIP principle cleans automatically
Feed production is subject to strict hygiene and safety requirements. To guarantee consistently hygienic conditions in the pipework, mixing tanks and storage tanks, the WEDA feeding system is equipped with a clean-in-place cleaning system. The CIP principle ensures that soiling and production-related deposits in the production system are cleaned automatically without having to switch it off or dismantle it. “With the cleaning concept, we prevent contamination and germ loads and guarantee that the quality of the feed is harmless to health,” says Gerrit Niehues, summarising the benefits.

Low energy consumption
WEDA relies on its proven conveyor technology from the agricultural sector to ensure reliable transport of the substrates. With the help of a special control system, the feed components can be combined from various storage containers. “This enables Agroloop to produce the most cost-effective recipes depending on requirements and stock levels. The WEDA tanks specially developed for mixing viscous materials are then used for the mixtures,” explains Yannik Weinreis from the WEDA sales segment ‘Insects’. According to Yannik Weinreis, these tanks have two decisive advantages: firstly, they give insect producers a particularly high degree of flexibility in terms of the feed components that can be used, and secondly, they enable the use of drier-than-average feed mixtures, which means that less water has to be evaporated than in conventional systems in the downstream insect fattening process and valuable energy can be saved.

Modular design
The feed kitchen is also characterised by its modular design, meaning additional tanks can be easily integrated into the existing system. The modular system simplifies future expansions and thus offers great added value. With this technology and its functions, WEDA responds to the special needs of insect producers and makes an important contribution to the economic operation of industrial breeding systems.

More environmentally friendly animal feed production
“This significant investment promotes the expansion of the company’s production capacities and technological development. This will enable us to contribute even more intensively to the development of the domestic circular economy based on biomass,” says Rajmond Percze, CEO and co-founder of Agroloop, praising the technical design of the insect factory. According to Rajmond Percze, the breeding of the black soldier fly makes an important contribution to reducing the en- vironmental impact of animal feed production. With the help of such innovative technologies and the circular economy approach, Agroloop is ready to become a leading player in Central Europe in sustainable feed production, helping to utilise agricultural by-products and create a more sustainable value chain. The company’s long-term goal is to drive positive changes in agricultural practices beyond the region and create a more efficient and environmentally friendly feed production system than ever before.

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Date Published: 20th June 2024

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