November 26, 2019
Protifarm is a global pioneer in the production of sustainable ingredients obtained from insects. The Ermelose Agri-tech company grows the Alphitobius diaperinus on an industrial scale (also known as the buffalo beetle) and processes the larvae of this beetle into sustainable and functional ingredients for the food industry. This gives the company one of the solutions for the ever-increasing demand for sustainable and healthy food. There is an increasing need for more variation within the consumption pattern in order to reduce the impact on the environment. With an investment of millions of euros from Oost NL and other investors, Protifarm can continue to grow solidly and continue to invest in R&D.
Feed 10 billion mouths
It is estimated that the world population will rise to 10 billion people in 2050. To feed all those mouths, food production must increase by no less than 70%. This poses serious challenges for the sustainability of our food production. The “sustainable protein transition” fits in with the growing need and urgency to radically reform our food system, taking our proteins from sources other than meat, such as vegetable sources or insects.
Protifarm breeds insects by applying ‘vertical farming’ in layers above each other. As a result, little cultivation space and hardly any water are required. CO2 emissions are also limited. The insects live on vegetable side streams from the food industry. The feed conversion of insects, compared to traditional life stock, is efficient and contributes to the sustainable nature of the culture.
Animal and vegetable alternative
The ingredients obtained, which Protifarm markets under the AdalbaPro brand, are not only sustainable but also healthy. Protifarm extracts important nutrients from the insect and turns them into soluble powders and textured products that ensure binding and structure in the end product. The nutrients include all essential amino acids, vitamins (such as B12), minerals, fiber, and healthy fats. “Our AdalbaPro ingredients contain the quality of animal protein and at the same time are more sustainable than animal and vegetable alternatives,” says Tom Mohrmann, CEO of Protifarm. “That makes it the best of both worlds.” The AdalbaPro ingredients line from Protifarm are raw materials for end products. You will no longer see the insects again. “With our ingredients, food producers make products such as protein shakes, food bars, noodles, but they also enrich meat or meat alternatives,” says Mohrmann.
Invest in protein transition
Protifarm can take a step in the desired growth with the investment from Oost NL and other investors. Mohrmann: “With this investment, we can grow in capacity and optimize our breeding and processing processes. We also invest in sales, marketing and R&D activities, so that we can continue to lead the way internationally in this market. ”
Bart Hoeflaak, Food team manager of the Capital business unit is proud that Oost NL can contribute to the growth of Protifarm: “Oost NL invests in companies with solutions to major social issues. We see the protein transition as one of the greatest challenges of our time and we support companies that are working on it. It is precisely because they meet the needs of the future that we also see great economic potential. It is good for the region if a company like Protifarm can develop here. ”