Startup Grows Bigger Flies To Feed Livestock
A startup says it has genome-edited a species of fly used for animal feed so that it grows 50 percent bigger.
FreezeM, a startup based at Kibbutz Nahshonim, in central Israel, breeds Black Soldier Flies (BSF) and supplies them to farmers in suspended animation.
Farmers feed them on any kind of organic waste, from agricultural leftovers to brewery by-products, and they grow to an incredible 8,000 times their original size in just two weeks. They are then processed into protein meal to feed their livestock.
The company describes BSF as nature’s “ultimate recycling machine”. It says the enhanced genetic line, known as BSF-Titan, will drastically reduce industry costs.
Increasing the size of the BSF maggots by 50 percent means more food for the animals.
FreezeM says BSF-Titan – which it is the process of patenting – will provide a sustainable, efficient, and accessible way to increase protein production capacity for livestock.
Dr. Idan Alyagor, the company’s CTO, said: “Insects, and in particular BSF, contain up to 50 percent of high-quality protein.
“In order to fulfil the potential of insect protein and enable the industry to scale, there is a need to reduce the price of the insect meal to a level that supports its incorporation in animal feed and improve feed conversion rates.
“This is the issue that our new technology solves head on, and we are thrilled to be able to develop novel genetic lines with enhanced capabilities that will remove barriers in the industry and provide solutions to a wider range of applications.”