The Van Trump Report

“Ÿnsect” Gets Approval to Commercialize its Mealworm Proteins in Dog Food

French startup Ÿnsect has been granted authorization to use defatted mealworm proteins in dog food. The green light from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) marks the first authorization for the commercialization of defatted mealworm proteins in the US.

Ÿnsect says the approval follows two years of evaluation by AAFCO, which is responsible for animal food safety. The authorization comes on the heels of the US Food and Drug Administration’s favorable opinion issued in October 2023.  
Ÿnsect says AAFCO’s approval for its mealworm-derived ingredient, Protein70, was based on results of a study conducted by Professor Kelly Swanson from the Animal Sciences Laboratory at the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign. According to Ÿnsect, which commissioned the study, the results showed the protein quality of its defatted mealworm flour “was comparable to high-quality animal proteins traditionally used in pet food manufacturing, such as beef, pork, and salmon”. The study included a six-month trial introducing Protein70 into dogs’ diets.

Ÿnsect launched its own pet food brand, Sprÿng, last year, and says the AAFCO approval will allow it to rapidly expand its commercial presence in the US. The company claims its mealworm proteins provide almost all indispensable amino acids, and fall short of only one amino acid essential for adult dogs. Based on EU Pet Food Industry data, Ÿnsect’s premium mealworm protein delivers +20% more essential amino acids compared to the requirements for adult dogs. Beyond the nutritional benefits, Ÿnsect says its mealworm proteins are an effective solution to help reduce the pet food industry’s environmental impact.  

The dog food biz will be Ÿnsect’s second market in the US. The company acquired Nebraska-based mealworm producer Jord Producers in 2022, giving it an entry into the US backyard chicken market. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), as many as 13% of US households now keep chickens.

The chicken market doesn’t come close to the size of the US dog food market, though. Nearly half (4 out of 10) American households have a dog and the overall US pet food market was valued at around $42 billion in 2022. Learn more about Ÿnsect at its website HERE. (Sources: Feed Navigator, NewFood, Reuters)

A view shows the insect farm Ynsect, which harvests mealworms for bug-based animal food and fertilizer, in Dole, France, October 22, 2020. REUTERS/Ardee Napolitano

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