New report evaluates insect, single-cell, and algae protein as replacement options for fish meal
BOSTON, MA February 27, 2020 –Lux Research’s new report, “Future Fish Feed: Forecasting Alternative Aqua Feed Ingredients,” evaluates insect protein, single-cell protein, and algae protein as options to replace fish meal. In the report, Lux predicts that over the next 30 years, 15 million MT of new protein will be needed for aquaculture.
The report’s political, economic, social, and technological (PEST) analysis shows that both insect protein and single-cell protein are poised for success as major protein sources for aqua feed. Lux predicts that single-cell protein sources will become commercially relevant and scale more rapidly than insect proteins with support from aligning industries. The analysis also shows that algae is poorly positioned as a major protein source for aqua feed due to high production costs and low economies of scale, though it may be relevant as a replacement for fish oil, given its omega-3 fatty acid content.
“While single-cell protein production has the potential to scale rapidly, few developers have reached large-scale production due to the extremely high capex required to establish a new facility. There are currently many insect protein producers, with each facility operating at a relatively small scale,” said Laura Krishfield, lead author of the report.
The largest insect production facilities currently produce about 10,000 MT a year, but recent scaling announcements from companies like Ynsect and Nutrition Technologies suggest future production capacities will reach 18,000 MT to 20,000 MT per year per facility. “Based on these planned efforts to build new production capacity, insect protein production will be relatively stagnant for the immediate future, but those levels should ramp up again as the new facilities come online,” noted Krishfield.
This forecast shows that, if all currently operating insect producers achieve their plans for additional production facilities, global annual insect production could reach more than 350,000 MT by 2024. However, Lux’s analysis indicates that a global production level of around 200,000 MT of insects is the much more likely scenario. With larger scales for individual facilities, single-cell protein production will remain more costly to build but will also scale more rapidly.
“On the high side, single-cell protein production could reach more than 700,000 MT annually by 2024. Our analysis indicates a likely global production level of around 400,000 MT annually by that time, as not all potential facilities will secure the needed investment to finance building. Combined, insect and single-cell protein production levels should reach 600,000 MT annually by 2024,” Krishfield explained.
To learn more about the growth and scale of alternative aqua feed ingredients, download the executive summary of the report here.
- Executive Summary: Future Fish Feed: Forecasting Alternative Aqua Feed Ingredients (Free Download)
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