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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal RMT (Mixt Technological Network) Animal Farms and Environnement French Environment and Energy Management Agency logo "animal emissions" animal emissions

Animal Emissions


Design of an insect bioraffinery contributing to more sustainable agroalimentary systems

Project DESIRABLE aims to design a sustainable insect biorefinery with a completely integrated approach. The inputs of the biorefinery will be biomass residues of various qualities, while its outputs will consist of 4 valuable main streams:

  • protein-rich materials

  • fats

  • chitin

  • insect manure.

Proteins and fats will be incorporated into fish and poultry alimentation, while manure and chitin will be used in other industries. The economic study of those streams will be part of the global LCA of the biorefinery.
Due to the ambitious nature and the integrated approach of the project (which studies the system and its interfaces with other agrifood systems), and the relative novelty of the subject, we decided to focus on two insect species at their larvae stage:

  • the mealworm (Tenebrio molitor)

  • the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens).

The duALIne study (Esnouf et al., 2011) INRA/CIRAD opened the ground to questions about research challenges on sustainable alimentation and its related issues. The duALIne study cotes the 2010 FAO definition of sustainable alimentation that will be ours in this project, that is to say an alimentation that protects biodiversity and ecosystems, is culturally acceptable, accessible, economically loyal and realistic, safe, adequately nutritive, healthy and that optimizes both natural and human resources.

Project DESIRABLE, thanks to its systemic and multidisciplinary approach, is an industrial research program which aims to provide all the missing elements to demonstrate the relevance of the insect industry for feed and to answer the different issues underlined by the duALIne study. It will also identify the subsequent research paths and pre-industrialization requirements to develop this new industry in the agro-food French context while still keeping the whole thing aligned with the objectives of a sustainable alimentation.

Financing: ANRDriver: Ynsect