Insect producer Innovafeed opens innovation centre in USA

29-04 | |
Photo: InnovaFeed
Photo: InnovaFeed

Innovafeed, the French producer of insect ingredients for animal feed, pet food and plant nutrition, has inaugurated a North American Insect Innovation Center (NAIIC) in Decatur, Illinois. This pilot plant is the first step of the French agtech’s industrial expansion to North America. Innovafeed aims to scale up production and commercialisation of insect protein in the USA.

Zero-waste framework

Innovafeed breeds Hermetia illucens, also known as black soldier flies, in state-of-the-art indoor farms, while efficiently repurposing agricultural by-products from its strategic partner, ADM, in a pioneering zero-waste framework. This innovative process yields insect meal, oil, and soil amendment, which Innovafeed markets under the brand Hilucia.

300,000 tons of by-products

A pipeline will connect the plant to the ADM’s corn processing wet mill, allowing it to directly recover up to 300,000 tons per year of by-products. These by-products will be transformed into high-quality insect ingredients producing up to 60,000 metric tons of animal feed protein derived from Hermetia Illucens. Additionally, it will generate 20,000 metric tons of oils for poultry and swine rations each year, along with 400,000 metric tons of soil amendment. In Decatur, the planned large-scale manufacturing facility will replicate an industrial symbiosis model pioneered by Innovafeed in France.

First US operation

The inauguration of NAIIC is a milestone in Innovafeed’s expansion in North America. CEO Clément Ray: “We chose Decatur for our first US operation because of its location in the heart of the Midwest corn belt and its proximity to our partner ADM and other agribusiness leaders. ADM’s corn by-products are a rich resource that we will leverage to fuel our black soldier fly production. At the same time, this circular process will present a tangible solution to contribute to our mission and the US Department of Energy’s objectives of decarbonising the industrial sector.”

“As the project expands, we believe Innovafeed can benefit from a strongly qualified local workforce, as well as contribute to developing new skills specific to our innovative industry. Furthermore, we envision Decatur as a promising hub for innovation with many opportunities for collaboration between Innovafeed and the neighbouring projects that have recently been announced in the area,” says Maye Walraven, US General Manager for Innovafeed.

Ruud Peijs International Journalist