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The exploitation of insects is an opportunity to be seized to deal with food waste through the bioconversion of organic waste into ingredients of high nutritional value for animal feed.

Marie-Hélène Deschampsprofesseur adjointe

In Canada, 30% of food is wasted and 58% of organic food residues are lost throughout the production and supply chain. This food waste has significant negative repercussions in the economic and environmental sectors, mainly because of the natural resources mobilized and unprofitable outcome of their production. Since landfill disposition of organic residues is prohibited in Quebec, the challenge is considerable to generate profitable and adequate alternatives that allow the competitiveness of the agri-food industry.

This situation presents an opportunity: to exploit insects for their capacities of bioconversion of organic residues into ingredients of high nutritional value for animal feed. The upcycling of food residues by insect larvae offers a new eco-responsible approach to recover the organic residues generated and form a circular economy requiring limited contributions of external resources.

The use of insects for upcycling is a still young biotechnology that is shaking up conventional systems of agro-food production and management of regional organic materials. It is in this context of the emergence of the entotechnology sector that the Chair of Leadership in Education in Primary Production and Processing of Edible Insects (CLEIC) was born. CLEIC consolidates the R&D leadership of Université Laval and enhances training and technology transfer commitments toward the industry.

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