Tyson Foods announces investment with insect ingredients company

At this point, Tyson has no plans to use insect protein in human food

Kees Aarts, CEO of Dutch insect farming company Protix, inspects a tray of black soldier fly larvae at the company’s facility in Bergen Op Zoom, Netherlands, June 28, 2021. While insects are commonly eaten in parts of Asia and Africa, they're increasingly seen as a viable food source in the West as Earth’s growing population puts more pressure on global food production. Experts say they’re rich in protein, yet can be raised much more sustainably than beef or pork. Regulatory change has also made things easier for European companies looking to market insects directly to consumers. (AP Photo/Aleks Furtula) (Aleks Furtula, Associated Press)

Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest food companies, is investing in the world’s leading insect ingredients company.

Tyson announced a partnership with Protix to expand the use of insect ingredients for sustainable proteins and lipids for use in the global food system, according to a press release.

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Tyson Foods will acquire a minority stake in Protix and will build a factory in the United States that will “upcycle food manufacturing byproducts into high-quality insect proteins and lipids which will primarily be used in the pet food, aquaculture, and livestock industries.”

Tyson doesn’t make pet food but it does sell its animal byproducts for use in the pet food and aquaculture industry, CNN reported.

Tyson said the facility will breed, incubate and hatch insect larvae. CNN reported that the facility will use animal waste to feed black soldier flies.

“When insects eat animal waste, they are essentially serving as ‘mini bioreactors,’ Reza Ovissipour, assistant professor in sustainable food systems at Texas A&M University’s Department of Food Science and Technology, told CNN. “And these mini bioreactors, they are very inexpensive,” he said. “You don’t need to apply that much energy. It’s very sustainable.”

At this point, Tyson has no plans to use the insect protein in human food.

About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.