A DIL Life Cycle Assessment has confirmed that Protix’s products have a considerably lower environmental footprint compared with common alternatives.
Protix, the leading company in insect ingredients for feed and food, has released impressive comparative sustainability figures for its products following a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted by the Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik (DIL e.V.). The analysis shows outstanding scores for four insect-based ingredients from Protix, which food, feed, and fertilizer manufacturers can use to reduce their ecological footprint while addressing the demand for more sustainable nutrition.
Highlights of the LCA, a commonly accepted way of evaluating the effects that a product has on the environment over the entire period of its life, include:
- The CO2 footprint and impact on global warming is up to 24 times lower with insect-based PureeX® (at 0.439 CO2 equivalent per kilogram product) than with poultry meat (10.33 kg CO2 equivalent) which is commonly used in pet food as a high moisture protein source.
- ProteinX® insect meal (at 1.149 kg CO2 equivalent) has almost a seven-fold lower CO2 footprint than the soy protein concentrate (at 7.5 kg CO2 equivalent) often found in livestock and aqua feed -
- Flytilizer®, Protix's insect-based fertilizer, shows only 0.02 kg CO2 equivalent per kilogram of product
- Each kilogram of ProteinX® reduces water consumption by 330 litres (190 litres vs 520 litres for soy protein concentrate)
- Replacing coconut oil with LipidX® in pet food and livestock feed returns over 12m2 of arable land to nature for each kilogram of fats. LipidX® uses 0.898 m2 of land compared with coconut oil at 12.98 m2.
As people become increasingly aware of environmental issues such as deforestation, water scarcity, global warming, and loss of biodiversity and demand more sustainable products, the challenge facing feed, pet food, and plant-producing companies is to lower their environmental footprint while maintaining the taste and health benefits of their formulations.
Protix’s insect-based ingredients are delivering on their promise to provide a more sustainable solution with outstanding palatability and performance. The DIL study shows that land and water use, as well as CO2 emissions, are considerably lower for Protix’s insect-based ingredients than common ingredients such as soy protein concentrate, palm kernel oil, or fish meal. Protix is on a mission to bring the food system back in balance with nature. The company’s ingredients already scored better than alternative ingredients in the company’s first peer-reviewed LCA in 2019, and even better scores can be expected in the future. This spells good news for the insect sector as a whole, as it demonstrates that insects have huge potential to address the challenges facing the industry both now and in the future.
Kees Aarts, CEO and joint founder of Protix, says, “We are delighted that these LCA findings confirm the sustainability of our products. Following the opening of our first-in-world 14,000 m2 production facility in the Netherlands in 2019, we are now in a position to build on our results and expand internationally. With new international production plants, we are confident of achieving even better sustainability results.”
Insects are interesting as a source of nutrients in many ways. The black soldier fly in particular, is one of nature’s most efficient composting ‘machines.’ The flies have a voracious appetite and can turn organic waste into valuable biomass very quickly and with a low impact on resources: one tonne of insects can be grown in 14 days using a land area of only 20 m2. Because the mature black soldier fly does not eat, as larvae, they are very efficient at storing nutrients. Finally, they can be farmed in a local and circular production process close to where they are needed, thus reducing transport. Protix successfully harnesses the power of these extremely efficient natural upcyclers.
The use of insects and specifically the black soldier fly, as a sustainable source of protein and other nutrients is a relatively new yet natural concept. Protix is at the forefront of the use of insects and is the only company in the world producing on an industrial scale. Replacing current animal or plant-based proteins or fats with insect-based proteins or fats is a logical step in creating a positive footprint and is also very promising in terms of health benefits.
As the leading company in insect ingredients for feed and food, Protix serves customers in the pet food, livestock, aquaculture, and plant sectors, including the world’s best-loved pet food brands and the largest global feed manufacturers. The company is now targeting further growth and will create a broader scientific basis for its portfolio through collaboration with its customers, scientific and academic institutions, and other stakeholders.