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Hexafly Black Soldier Fly Protein and Oils for Fishfeed

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Hexafly (Hexafly Black Soldier Fly Protein and Oils for Fishfeed)

Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2018-09-30

Fish farms, or aquaculture, now provide about half of the world’s seafood, and are poised to grow. But aquaculture’s key feed ingredient faces a supply-chain bottleneck. Fishmeal and fish oil supplies fluctuate; they are growing scarce and their prices are rising. Fish farm owners need new and reliable ingredients to de-risk their supply chain and ensure continued production and growth.

Currently, most of these forage fish are ground up to feed for aquaculture. These small fish also sustain seabirds and marine mammals such as whales, seals and dolphins. If these fish disappear, so will the life that depends on it. The industry has made tremendous strides to vastly increase the productivity of fishmeal and oil, but if it is to expand, most scientists agree that more needs to be done to find alternative ingredients.

The ultimate objective is to make our Hexafly Black Soldier Fly (HBSF) products ready for market launch in Europe, helping to alleviate this demand from aquaculture, in a sustainable and productive manner. This entails a number of technical and strategic objectives, including the completion of product’s optimization, the pilot trials, and the exploitation of their results (IP expansion, commercial agreements with customers).
During the feasibility assessment, Hexafly has completed a full analysis of the technical and business potential of their HBSF technology. Throughout the project, Hexafly has greatly expanded their knowledge regarding the market and regulatory approval required for the European market launch.

The key technical milestone achieved during the project was the definition of the remaining products optimisation and industrialization activities required for commercialization of HBSF products, to reach the following product specifications: 55-60% crude protein, up to 10% Omega3 in oil, 90% or greater chitin purity – through the following activities: increase of the yield of insects, optimisation of nutritional profiles of protein and oil, improvement of chitin separation and quality, improvement of products consistency, improvement of the automation, scale-up of production.

All necessary trial partners and stakeholders were identified. Fishfeed producers Skretting, Cargill and Toyota Tsusho will host trials in their fish farms. To demonstrate the quality and safety of the products, participants will evaluate nutrition efficiency, digestibility, and fish health.
Hexafly analysed in detail the go-to-market strategy to define the approach for accelerated and effective market uptake. It was concluded that protein and oil will be targeted at major fishfeed manufacturers first in Europe, then in Asia Pacific; frass and chitin will be also targeted at European customers. Hexafly will directly contact and sell to customers. Hexafly plans to open other facilities to support the request, achieving total cumulated revenues of €120 million and reaching 164 employees five years after commercialisation.

On a wider front, our market introduction will mean more wide-spread benefits to the involved agro-foods value chains, providing sustainable, nutritious, and cost-effective solutions for significant problems plaguing our aquaculture food supply.