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21st December 2020  Content supplied by: Protifarm Holding NV

Protifarm Kickstarts International Expansion with Upcycling Project

As the insect farming industry is waiting for several novel food authorizations from the European Commission in 2021, Dutch AgriTech insect-based ingredients producer Protifarm is gearing up for its international expansion.

Through a pilot license project with Swissmill, Protifarm will support upcycling side-streams of flour milling into high-quality food ingredients. Swissmill processes over 200,000 tons of cereal every year. While its by-products are not fit for human consumption, they can be used to feed Protifarm’s buffalo beetle (Alphitobius diaperinus) which in turn is processed into high-quality food ingredients.

Founded in 2015, Protifarm has created the world’s first and largest vertical farm for breeding and rearing buffalo beetles. Its product line includes textured protein, protein concentrate, fibre powder, whole beetle powder to be used in sports nutrition, meat alternatives, baked goods and pet food.

The commercialization of beetle-derived products is pending approval of Protifarm’s novel food application.

With this first international rollout, Protifarm is setting in motion its strategy of establishing various licensed cultivation and processing plants around the world within the next ten years.

Tom Mohrmann, CEO of Protifarm: “It is our mission to accelerate our impact by licensing our strong knowledge, experience and Intellectual Property to upcycle side streams all around the world, by using our Buffalo Beetle. This way, we can produce sustainable healthy food ingredients to feed the world without consuming the earth. Our processes are easily scalable in vertical farms. By establishing them around the world, we can keep the food miles as low as possible. This Swiss pilot is a first careful step.”

Part of the project is also RethinkResource, an upcycling consulting agency based in Zurich, which has been working with Swissmill on various circular projects.

Protifarm was chosen by the two partners not only for its knowledge and experience in breeding, rearing and processing insects, but also because the buffalo beetle is most suitable for upcycling Swissmill’s specific product streams. The pilot project will be evaluated after three years.



Date Published: 21st December 2020

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