HUNGARY – Agroloop, a leading Hungarian insect producer, has partnered with German feeding technology specialists WEDA Dammann & Westerkamp. 

The collaboration has led to the establishment of a state-of-the-art black soldier fly larvae rearing facility near Budapest Airport, which will commence operations in autumn 2024.

The facility represents a significant investment of over EUR 20 million (approximately US$ 21.5 million) and will substantially increase Agroloop’s production capabilities. Once operational, the plant is expected to process 120 metric tons of raw material daily and produce around 10,000 metric tons of end products annually. 

These products include 6,000 metric tons of soil improver granules, nearly 3,000 metric tons of feed protein, and over 600 metric tons of feed fat.

High-quality insect-based feed proteins are increasingly recognized as a vital source of nutrition for both pet food and livestock feed. With the global population projected to grow rapidly, the demand for animal proteins is expected to double by 2050. 

The insect feed market, anticipated to reach EUR 2 billion (US$2.15 billion) in annual turnover by the end of this decade, is poised to produce 1 million metric tons of insect meal annually.

WEDA’s comprehensive feeding solution includes a complete feed kitchen where liquid and dry byproducts from the food industry are processed into a viscous feed mash. 

This mash is prepared in three parallel mixing tanks according to precise recipes, facilitating the rapid development of soldier fly larvae.

Agroloop can convert more than 40,000 metric tons of substrates per year with our system operating in a two-shift process,” explained Gerrit Niehues, WEDA’s product manager.

Agroloop’s new facility embodies circular economy principles. It uses feed-grade byproducts to nurture larvae that convert low-value biomass into high-quality feed protein and fat. 

This method significantly reduces the ecological footprint compared to traditional animal feedstock production. The process requires 30 times less land, 40 times less water, and emits 40 times less carbon than conventional livestock production.

WEDA’s system includes a clean-in-place (CIP) cleaning mechanism that ensures stringent hygiene standards by automatically cleaning the pipework, mixing, and storage tanks without halting production. This system prevents contamination and ensures the feed’s safety, as Niehues highlighted.

The innovative design of WEDA’s mixing tanks, specifically developed for handling viscous materials, provides insect producers with flexibility regarding feed components. The tanks allow the use of drier feed mixtures, reducing the need for water evaporation and conserving energy.

The feed kitchen’s modular design allows for easy integration of additional tanks, facilitating future expansions and providing significant added value. This adaptability is crucial for meeting the evolving needs of insect producers and ensuring the economic viability of industrial breeding systems.

Rajmond Percze, CEO and co-founder of Agroloop, praised the new facility’s technological advancements and stressed its role in promoting a circular economy. 

He stated, “This investment enables us to contribute significantly to developing a sustainable value chain based on biomass. Our goal is to drive positive changes in agricultural practices and create a more efficient and environmentally friendly feed production system.”

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