Nutreco Feed Tech Challenge 2018

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20 votes
Submit full business case

Grubbly Farms - Developing sustainable, insect based, animal feed

At Grubbly Farms we recycle food waste by feeding it to fly larvae. As the larvae eat through the food waste, they convert it into a quality fertilizer. Once mature, we sift the larvae from the fertilizer and dehydrate the larvae. The dried larvae can then be processed into fats and proteins that are used in the manufacturing of animal feed. 

Describe the problem your company wishes to solve and how your product or service will solve it

Grubbly Farms end goal is to replace fishmeal and fish oil. If you are unfamiliar, fishmeal and fish oil are fished based ingredients that are derived from mainly ocean caught fish. About 10% of the ocean's catch every year, 16 million tons, is processed into these ingredients and used to make animal feed. Due to overfishing, the price of fishmeal has doubled over the past decade and is expected to double again over the next. 

We also offer a recycling solution to food waste. The United States landfills about 50 million tons of food waste every year which decomposes into methane, a greenhouse gas over 20x more harmful to the environment than Co2. By allowing the larvae to eat the food waste, we are upcycling the waste stream into higher valued items. 

Describe other business assistance that you are seeking from Nutreco

We are developing a feed ingredient and would like assistance from Nutreco on the feed development side. There are a number of different animals that can benefit from the black soldier fly larvae but extensive feed trials and digestibility studies need to be conducted to prove the safety factors of the larvae meal. 

Are you available to participate in the final event in the Netherlands 28, 29, and 30 May? All expenses will be covered by Nutreco


Describe how the prize - a validation trial in our facilities - could boost the development of your business

Our current product is catering toward the pet backyard chicken market. As we expand into additional products and the insect industry becomes more automated, we will have the ability to expand into fully formulated feeds for a number of different animals including poultry, swine, aquaculture, and pets. The assistance in your facilities, looking at feed formulation, would help move us forward in feed development catering toward one or more of the animals we can cater toward. 

If you already have a website for your business, please share the URL

teresa debesa 4 weeks ago

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

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Gavin Boerboom 4 weeks ago

Great idea Shaun! One question I had was: How do you make sure sufficient nutrients are present in the food waste the larvae consume? BSFL supplementation has some effect on fatty acid profiles of meat from the animals that consumed it and this depends mainly on the feed the larvae consumed during their lifetime.

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Sean Warner 4 weeks ago

We have done nutritional analysis on the food waste to help determine the optimal mix as the larvae have trouble eating through waste that is high in fiber. You are correct that the larvae nutritional analysis does change depending on the composition of the feedstock, with the fatty acid profile having the most variability. This is something we are still considering as we look into scaling into larger facilities and what animals we will be catering toward.

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Saravanan Subramanian 4 weeks ago

I understand from you website that you are currently selling 'whole dried BSF larvae' (Grubblies) as a product, is this product you are aiming at test with us? or do you have other products under development for different animal species?

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Sean Warner 4 weeks ago

We are going through the customer discover of launch Dog Treats at the moment and still working on the formulation. Regarding fully formulated feed, we are looking into options on poultry. Right now we are looking at catering toward the backyard chicken market, but have also been in discussion with the poultry science division at UGA on feed trials and digestibility studies for both layers and broilers.

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Chris van Bussel 4 weeks ago

Hi Sean, thanks for your submission! I was wondering what kind of "food waste" you are using at the moment to raise your BSFL and what type of food waste you want to use in the future is you scale up?

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Sean Warner 4 weeks ago

By USDA and FDA regulations we are required to use pre-consumer food waste if the larvae are to be sold as feed. We stay away from any meat waste and are focusing on fruits, vegetables, and grains. We have worked with juiceries, bakeries, and breweries. We are also in discussion with a number of waste haulers and large chains such as restaurants and food processors. We are still figuring out an ideal feedstock as we scale. This comes down to the FCR of the larvae and consistency of the feedstock as to minimize the variation in the nutritional analysis of the larvae and castings.

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Neil W. Jaworski 1 week ago

Thanks for the submission Shaun. Insect meal will be a great source of amino acids for animal diets in the future. So much so that I see it becoming a commodity, such as fish meal or soybean meal. What are your thoughts on this and how does this affect your business development? Or are you more keen on creating a specialized protein source? Here is a nice podcast that reviews the use of black soldier fly in pig diets using some very recent sources

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