February 2020 Newsletter

UK Entomap

Taking inspiration from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s comprehensive (yet no longer available) global map of companies in the Insects as Food & Feed (IFF) sector, we have put together our own map for the UK. This is an ever-growing list, so if you would like to be included as an individual or organisation, please do let us know

We are also compiling a list of insect farming operations all around the world, and are developing how best to present this. Do let us know if you want to include your organisation or services in this.

For members that would like to make full use of our network (including making connections with those beyond the UK), you may visit our Members Directory where you are able to search for members by name, what they can offer, or what they are looking for. If you are interested in becoming a Woven member yourself, the benefits of doing so are listed here.

(The dot that appears to be lost in the English Channel is on Guernsey)

Woven Network - helping you connect with others

We are considering the best way to help the UK and wider community and want to begin running a series of webinars every couple of months.  We are seeking volunteers willing to speak about their work, ambitions, the help they need, and the obstacles they face - possibly a couple for each webinar. After a short presentation, others may join in to listen and share ideas, thoughts, and build collaborations.
So the question is:  Do you think this sounds useful? 
If you do, we would love to hear from you to get a few people to volunteer to start this off.

Food waste available as feed substrate for insect farming

Woven Network has been contacted by a large food processing company based in the Midlands who are willing to supply pre-consumer, vegetable based, food waste as a feed substrate to insect farmers. The waste, which comprises mainly bread and salads, will be sorted and given away free to insect farming enterprises who are willing to collect it themselves or by contractors. Please contact Adam Banks for further details about this opportunity.

Chemical Engineer - issue 944, 2020

The Chemical Engineer considered Novel Meat for a New Age in an article on 30 January 2020. Alongside Plant Pretenders and Lab-Grown Meat two Woven Network Directors, Chris Bear and Adam Banks put the case for insects, with their sustainable production and current availability.

Algae invade insect space

The Food Programme on 5 Jan 20 asked if algae were going to be the next big thing. In support, the Cambridge academic interviewed listed advantages of local production, efficient conversion to protein, suitable for an increasing population with a reducing area of agricultural land, production possible in buildings in cities, containers, and even domestic patios – all arguments that have been proposed in support of entomophagy.
Spirulina from Chlorella vulgaris enjoyed a trend in 2012-13, and has returned with Innocent’s Bolt from the Blue – ‘a dash of spirulina with extra vitamins to give you a bolt of energy’, and Naked Juice’s green machine with spirulina 1.3 g per 444 ml bottle.
Like insect products, spirulina can have a protein content of 55-70% protein by weight. It can work like an egg yolk to make mayonnaise, and Sheila Dillon used it to bake a Victoria sponge for the programme. She described the black appearance of the sponge so awful as to be ‘inedible’, demonstrating algae to have an even greater struggle for acceptability than insects. 

Bread from cricket flour

Roberts Bakery of Northwich, Cheshire is the first major bakery brand in the UK to launch insect bread. The launch of limited-edition Cricket Bread coincided with the broadcasting of ‘I’m a celebrity – get me out of here’. The cricket flour was supplied by Eat Grub and comprised 13% of flour by weight – equivalent to 59 g cricket flour in a 450 g (1 lb) loaf to give 12.3 % protein by weight. Apart from the addition of cricket flour and a little added gluten everything else in the recipe was the same as standard malted loaves.

Around 336 dried and ground crickets go into each loaf, together with wheat flour and grains to make a loaf described as ‘tremendously tasty with a crunchy finish’. The retail cost of the cricket flour is £7.99 for 100 g and £50 for 1 kg, which increases the cost from a loaf made with supermarket plain flour at 10% protein, and strong white flour at 12%. 

NACIA call for volunteers

The North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture is seeking volunteers to help shape the future of insects as food and feed in North America and beyond. Working groups include: Fundraising, Food & Feed Safety, Regulatory Roadmap, End Market Information and Communications. Volunteers will be taken from the membership.


21-22 April 2020
Food and Feed Special Interest Group of The Royal Society of Entomology and ADAS
Includes: The current state of the insect farming sector in the UK and beyond - Adam Banks and Nick Rousseau of Woven-Network
The Natural History Museum

2-6 June 2020
Insects to feed the world
Québec City, Canada



1. The World Economic Forum white paper: Alternative proteins
Summary of carbon dioxide production, water and land use, cost, and influence of dietary sources of protein on survival. Insects seem to sit between nuts and tofu.
2. Fisher HJ, Collins SA, Hanson D, Mason G, Colombo SM, Anderson DM. Black soldier fly larvae meal as a protein source in low fish meal diets for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). J. Aquaculture 2020; 521: 734978
Highlights: Proximate digestibility coefficients for Atlantic salmon fed black soldier fly larvae meal (BSFM) were determined.
Atlantic salmon fed diets containing up 200 g kg−1 BSFM grew similarly to fish fed the control.
BSFM at up to 200 g kg−1 inclusion in Atlantic salmon diets shows promise.
The authors recommend testing higher protein diets containing BSFM levels above 200 g kg−1.
Abstract: This study determined the optimal dietary inclusion level of black soldier fly larvae meal (BSFM) on the digestibility and growth of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). In the digestibility experiment, salmon were fed diets that contained a 70:30 blend of reference diet to test ingredient, comparing BSFM, soy protein concentrate, and corn protein concentrate as the test ingredients. In the growth study, salmon (mean initial weight 2.8 ± 0.1 g fish−1), were fed diets containing 0.0 g kg−1 (control), 100 g kg−1, 200 g kg−1 and 300 g kg−1 BSFM. Four hundred and eighty fish were held in a flow-through freshwater system, with 30 fish / tank (30L), 4 tanks / diet. Salmon were fed for 112 days with measurements recorded every 28 days. Digestibility coefficients of BSFM was generally over 75%, with dry matter and gross energy showing higher coefficients in BSFM than CPC and SBM. Mineral digestibility was generally higher in BSFM compared with CPC and SBM. Salmon fed up to 200 g kg−1 showed similar growth performance to salmon fed the control diet. However, salmon fed 300 g kg−1 BSFM diet gained significantly less weight, had the lowest SGR, TGC and the highest FCR than salmon fed any other treatment, while all other treatments were not different from each other (p < .01). The PER was highest in salmon fed the 300 g kg−1 BSFM diet compared to salmon fed the control and 200 g kg−1 BSFM, but did not differ from salmon fed 100 g kg−1. Feed consumption was the same among treatments. Including BSFM at 200 g kg-1 in diets for Atlantic salmon shows promise as a complementary protein source in low fish meal, high plant protein diets.
3. Yildirim‐Aksoy M, Eljack R, Beck BH. Nutritional value of frass from black soldier fly larvae, Hermetia illucens, in a channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, diet. Aquaculture Nutrition 2020
Abstract: Frass is the by‐product of the larval meal industry and includes larval waste, exoskeleton sheds and residual feed ingredients. Experimental frass was derived from the larvae of black solder flies fed distillers' dried grains with solubles and had a protein and fat content of 216 and 60 g/kg, respectively. A 10‐week study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary levels of frass on growth, feed utilization, and body proximate and mineral composition of channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. Five diets containing 0, 50, 100, 200 and 300 g frass per kg diet were fed to channel catfish (5.24 ± 0.04 g) in quadruplicate aquaria to apparent satiation twice daily. Final weight gain was significantly increased in fish fed diets containing frass at levels from 100 to 300 g/kg. Fish fed diets without frass, and with 300 g/kg frass, showed the lowest and highest feed intake, respectively. Feed and protein efficiencies, however, were significantly lower in fish fed frass at levels of 200 g/kg and higher compared to the control diet. Survival, whole‐body composition and mineral content were not affected by frass. In summary, black soldier fly larval frass has potential as a protein source or just an ingredient for enhancing palatability of catfish diets.
4. Delicato C, Schouteten JJ, Dewettinc K, Gellynck X, Tzompa-Sosab DA. Consumers’ perception of bakery products with insect fat as partial butter replacement. Food Quality and Preference 2020; 79: 103755
Highlights: Potential of black soldier fly larvae fat (BSF LF) in 3 bakery products was examined.
Each bakery product was formulated with 0%, 25% and 50% BSF LF as butter substitute.
BSF LF might replace 25% of butter in bakery products without changing acceptance.
BSF LF provides a similar structure and functionality as butter in bakery products.
Abstract: Including insect ingredients into familiar food products could be a step in enabling a higher acceptance of insects in Western countries. This study investigates the potential of bakery products containing black soldier fly larvae fat (BSF LF) as an ingredient. Sensory and emotional profiling, WTP, liking and product preference were examined for cakes, cookies, and waffles by a total of 344 respondents. Each bakery product was formulated with 0%, 25% and 50% BSF LF as butter substitute. Results showed that BSF LF can replace 25% of butter in these bakery products without changing the overall food experience and liking. In waffles, the substitution might even be up to 50% without influencing consumer’s acceptance. The attributes related to texture and color were hardly affected indicating that this insect fat provides a similar structure and functionality to bakery products as compared with butter. Future research should explore the use of refined BSF LF to reduce off-flavours perceived in formulations containing a higher percentage of insect fat.


Insects at Chiang Mai market

A large covered food market in Chiang Mai, Thailand, had only one stall selling insects. These larvae were sold either roasted or fried. They had a crunchy texture, but whatever was inside them had become combined into the oil based covering. 130 Bhat is about £3.30. 
Woven Network Facebook page
Woven Network Website
Copyright © 2020 Woven Network CIC, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Woven Network CIC · 52 Den Bank Drive · Sheffield, South Yorkshire S10 5PG · United Kingdom

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp