As the world’s population grows, sustainably generated protein sources for livestock are becoming a more important aspect of food production.

To that end, food and feed industry provider Bühler and insect production company Protix have founded Bühler Insect Technology Solutions, a Liyang, China-based joint venture that will develop industrial solutions for the rearing and processing of insects to provide protein for animal feed and food.

The world’s population is projected to increase to more than nine billion people by 2050, which would require more than 250 million tons of additional protein per year. That’s a 50 percent increase from today. But currently, 30 percent of fish stocks are considered overfished; also, two-thirds of all vegetable proteins and 80 percent of the soybean harvest are processed into animal feed for livestock. In addition, about 30 percent of raw materials are wasted during the food production process.

All of these factors have led to interest in alternative protein sources, and insects are considered a promising possibility. Fly larvae and mealworms are easy to breed, can be fed with organic waste, require little space to cultivate and are efficient at converting feed into protein.

Bühler Insect Technology Solutions will initially focus on the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly, which is nicknamed the “Queen of waste transformation for its ability to transform organic waste into protein. The company will also explore other insects such as mealworms. The insect proteins will be aimed at producing sustainable animal feed.

Founded in 2009, Protix produces and sells insect-based ingredients for the specialty feed, aquaculture, petfood and food market. Bühler develops industrial process technologies and solutions for food production, with a focus on food security and safety.

For more information about insects as a sustainable protein source, visit