Insect Proteins for Food and Feed

Insect Proteins for Food and Feed



Aquaculture and livestock feed are mostly based on fishmeal, maize and soymeal. These sources are unsustainable for a low-cost feed solution. This project will create an enterprise addressing the supply deficit and cost pressure on feed for aquaculture, livestock and humans. The project will achieve this via industrial mass rearing of an edible insect called the yellow mealworm. The mealworm protein has nutritional profile rivalling fish meal. As such, it can be used as an alternative high-quality protein substitute for fishmeal and oilseed cake.


The Project Involves

  • Formulation of aquaculture and poultry feed where fishmeal is substituted by mealworm powder.
  • The design of an end to end supply chain for the mass production of mealworms with: 
    • the identification and contracting of a sustainable worm feed from a locally available industrial waste,
    • the design and commission of an efficient mass production facility.
  • Establishment of a company that produces and commercialises mealworm products at scale.



The project offers a solution to address the unmet future global demand for high protein food. Mealworms have amongst the lowest feed to protein conversion rates (far better than poultry or beef), they hardly need water, need little space and feed on industrial and agricultural waste. Mealworm as a base for animal feed and later human feed will enable to avoid global (and in particular African) shortages of high-quality proteins while offering a productive use of industrial waste streams.    


Project Team 

Prof Emmanuel Kaunda
Principal Investigator
Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Ms Msekiwa Matsimbe
Project Manager
Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Mr Florian Willfort
Industrial and Commercial Partner
Scaled Impact NPO
South Africa

Mr Marco Mare
Project Partner
Department of Research and Specialist Services (DRSS)

Project Type

Flagship project

Countries involved