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Insect genetic selection program yields 20% improved production

Friday, February 18, 2022

Protix and Hendrix Genetics demonstrated for the first time in the insect feed industry that animal selection in black soldier fly (BSF) can deliver significant benefits. 

The world’s longest insect selection program resulted from a joint project between Protix and Hendrix Genetics and is the first in the insect industry to demonstrate that BSF genetically selected for increased larval weight does perform better than standard animals in a large-scale production facility. 

Protix and Hendrix Genetics run the selective breeding program for two years at a large-scale and fully automated production trial done at Protix production facilities in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands. An average improvement was found of 39% heavier larvae, 32% more protein harvested per facility and 21% more fat harvested per facility.

Based on the achieved results in this trial, the annual improvement in production is estimated at 20%, therefore, more can be produced with the same energy, making insect protein even more attractive from a sustainability perspective.

CEO and founder of Protix, Kees Aarts said that “being a pioneer in the insect industry means you must lead the way and drive the biggest and most ambitious programs across nutrition, technology and genetics. Our advancements in genetics are a great step forward for the insect industry and the environment. Animal breeding has a vital role to play in helping solve the global food challenge.”

“We are really proud of the achievements of the collaboration with Protix,” said Johan van Arendonk, chief innovation & technology officer at Hendrix Genetics. “The results clearly indicate that selective breeding on insects is not only possible but also has significant benefits. Hendrix Genetics is truly multi-species focused and this collaboration demonstrated again that sharing knowledge across species speeds up innovation. Working on the genetics of insects adds a new dimension and opportunity to create added value.”


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