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.
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.