METAMORPHOSIS – Enhanced Insect Protein for Aquaculture


Birgir Örn Smárason

Project Manager

A new project is about to kick off at Matís. The project is called METAMORPHOSIS. The project represents an added-value step in insect processing, with potential to start generating real value across the chain through promoting premium-tier sustainable nutrition, animal health & well-being through holistic aquaculture feeds.

The world will host 9 billion people by 2050 which means that current food production will need to increase by up to 100%. This will put a strain on already pressured natural resources, and have further implications on environmental and social aspects. From a European perspective, a large proportion of the protein demand is met with imported protein. Developing a sustainable protein resource from waste-fed insects represents an opportunity for Europe to shed its reliance on nutritional imports, and address mounting food sector sustainability concerns. At the same time, the insect nutrient recycling industry represents a growing sector enabling Europe to produce high-end feeds locally from biomass wastes.

METAMORPHOSIS focuses on turning organic waste streams into a valuable, next generation aquaculture feed ingredient. The increased shortage of sustainable protein feeds has called for new approaches regarding the industry’s growing need. Many insects are very efficient in transforming organic wastes into sustainable nutrients, rich in proteins and fats. Based on currently available waste streams, several thousand tons of insect meal could be produced at a favorable price and quality. More than half of all aquatic species are now produced by aquaculture and its production is likely to double in the next 15 years, and insect meal has been demonstrated to successfully provide nutrition to fish. This Activity will investigate a novel insect feed additive, which will provide an alternative to Europe’s increasing reliance on soy and fish meal imports from South America, and thus help decrease the European protein deficit in a sustainable manner.