CANADA – NRGene Canada and Bühler have launched the North American Insect Center (NAIC) for sustainable protein production, marking a significant milestone in advancing insect protein production in North America. 

The cutting-edge center will serve as a testing and demonstration facility for both companies’ customers, providing a space for collaborative innovation and practical application.

Located at NRGene Canada’s facility in Saskatchewan, the NAIC will allow customers to evaluate the performance of chosen Black Soldier Fly (BSF) varieties on by-product streams. 

This facility will allow stakeholders to assess BSF varieties, operational parameters, and practices for efficient industrial-scale production. By doing so, the NAIC aims to support the growth of the insect protein industry in North America.

NRGene Canada emphasizes that this collaborative approach will enable informed decisions and maximize BSF’s potential as a sustainable protein source. 

The center will also host workshops, training sessions, and seminars to educate industry stakeholders on insect protein production’s benefits and best practices.

NRGene’s extensive BSF variety collection, combined with advanced genomics and phenotyping capabilities, will enable the development of tailored BSF strains. 

These strains will feature improved functionalities, such as better feed conversion rates and higher protein content, customized to customers’ specific by-product-based feeds. 

To test the industrial performance of these new strains, Bühler has installed its advanced Trial Rearing Unit (TRU), a climate-controlled larvae growth chamber that simulates industrial conditions. This unit is crucial for optimizing the growth and development of BSF larvae and validating their industrial performance.

Preliminary trials conducted at the NAIC with the TRU have shown promising results, highlighting the potential of combining NRGene’s BSF larvae with Bühler’s rearing technology. 

The performance of NRGene’s BSF larvae in these trials highlights the potential of our collaboration,” said Dr. Gil Ronen, CEO and Co-Founder of NRGene. “This demonstrates the potential of combining advanced technology with genetic innovation, paving the way for impactful advancements in the insect industry.”

Andreas Baumann, Head of Market Segment Insect Technology at Bühler, added that the center will serve as a meeting place for our clients, particularly those from North America, to optimize insect plant operations collaboratively.

The NAIC is strategically located in Saskatoon at the Innovation Center of Saskatchewan University, a region that produces tens of millions of tons of byproducts from grain processing plants annually.

NRGene Canada is in advanced talks with local food producers to evaluate the suitability of their waste for growing BSF, providing a sustainable solution for waste management, and establishing a new value chain in the local circular economy.

The official opening of the NAIC is scheduled for July 30th, 2024, at NRGene’s Canadian subsidiary in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the facility, see a live demonstration, and engage with experts from Bühler and NRGene Canada.

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