DONGEN, THE NETHERLANDS — On April 23, Protix, a global producer of insect-based ingredients for use in animal feed, pet food and fertilizer, shared the results of its new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), demonstrating the significant environmental benefits of its black solider fly larvae (BSFL) ingredients. 

The LCA was conducted by the German Institute of Food Technologies and builds upon Protix’s earlier assessment on its BSF ingredients in 2022, showing improvement in the company’s operations, genetics and nutritional science.

The latest LCA showed that Protix’s ProteinX® insect meal can reduce CO2 emissions by 78%, compared to poultry meal, a common ingredient used in pet nutrition and livestock feed. In comparison to soy protein concentrate, which is often used in aquaculture, ProteinX was found to lower CO2 emissions by 89%. 

Protix’s LipidX®, an insect fat, was found to significantly reduce land usage, using about 99% less land compared to coconut oil, which is used as a fat source in livestock and pet foods. 

The company’s PureeX®, an insect meat, uses 99.8% less water compared to poultry meat, which is most often used in pet food as a high protein source. 

Additionally, Protix’s insect frass, which is used in fertilizer, showed a CO2 footprint of 0.01 kgs per kg of product. And the BSFL, which can be used for livestock feed, showed a CO2 footprint of 0.198 kgs per 1 kg of product.

“We take pride in leading innovations within our industry on a pathway to low-footprint-no-footprint proteins,” said Kees Aarts, chief executive officer of Protix. “With our previous LCA, we shared the vision that the environmental footprint of our black soldier fly ingredients could be reduced and we have lived up to that promise: the latest DIL figures once again demonstrate an improvement in the footprint of our Protix ingredients. We look forward to translating these LCA numbers into new commercial opportunities to help our customers produce better and greener.”

According to Protix, this improved LCA data not only shows the promise of BSFL, but also demonstrates the significant potential for the insect industry as a whole to play a key role in reducing the environmental impact for the animal feed and pet food industries, among others. With this in mind, Protix seeks to be at the forefront of sustainable, insect-based ingredient production with new facilities and an international expansion planned in the future. 

“This is an exciting time for change in the pet food, animal feed and fertilizer industries and we are scaling up our operations to meet demand,” Aarts said. “We are confident that we can achieve further outstanding figures in the future as we invest in improved genetics and build on our already deep knowledge of insect farming. When feedstock legislation changes, this will be a further driver of a lower footprint for our beloved black soldier fly. A tiny creature, but an impactful eco-warrior.”

View the full LCA here

Read more about insect-based ingredients in the pet nutrition space.