Low Crawling Fruit: High Quality, Clean, Sustainable Protein Created From Insects

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014

$450K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

ALL THINGS BUGS LLC
120 MARK TWAIN CIRCLE APT L5 Array
Athens, GA 30605
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Abstract

Low Crawling Fruit: High Quality, Clean, Sustainable Protein Created From Insects Food reserves are the lowest they & #39;ve been in 40 years. As the human population grows, it is ever more important to sustain rather than increase our levels of consuming and harvesting materials from the earth and its ecosphere. Animal based nutrients, specifically protein, are critical for health, yet already about 70% of agricultural land, and 30% of the total land on earth, is used to raise livestock. Amid the ever expanding human population and demand on natural resources, the market for protein is exploding. The global market for protein products was over $15 billion in 2012 and growing by 30% in 5 years. Fortunately, insects provide a fantastic solution to meet the world & #39;s nutritional needs. In contrast to the large land footprint required to create other sources of protein, insects can be grown in small, clean facilities. Additionally, insects require far less food and water per gram of protein produced while giving off much less greenhouse gas emission compared to traditional livestock. Insects are also a very clean and healthy source of protein rich nutrition. They are very high in complete, highly digestible protein, high in omega 3 fatty acids and low in unhealthy fats. Additionally, common food borne pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria and Staphylococcus aureus have not been detected in US farmed insects to date. Best of all, consumers are interested. Media outlets, such as Fox News, Huffington Post, New Yorker and Washington Post have all published articles about this promising nutrition source. We expect that our project, and the overall success of insect-based foods, will revolutionize the food and agricultural industries while spurring economic development and job creation in both rural and urban communities.The current USDA SBIR Phase II project is intended to support the development of All Things Bugs LLC & #39;s patented processes for turning insects into a high quality protein ingredient that is substantially richer in nutrients than other alternatives at a comparable price. We will optimize the high quality protein product developed during Phase I and address barriers to market. This project will address several critical aspects of All Things Bugs LLC & #39;s insect-derived ingredients toward addressing customer, regulatory and industry interests including: 1) shelf-life of insect powder as well as food products containing it, 2) performance of insect powder in the context of multiple end products and formulations, 3) improving insect powder production efficiency and cost, 4) food safety aspects such as allergen, microbe and toxin content and 5) improving overall insect powder ingredient quality (texture, functionality, etc.). These (powders, pastes or liquids) have a very wide range of commercial applications in the human food, animal/pet feed and nutraceutical industries including: fortified dry goods, fortified protein supplement powders, high protein fortified porridges and cereals, "meat" substitutes, chitosan (nutraceutical derived from chitin), high protein beverages, protein fortified bars and powders for athletes as well as numerous types of snack foods. Synergy between our high quality insect-based food ingredient research and our marketing strategies will overcome market barriers, both cultural and technological, to the utilization of insects as a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable protein source. These innovations by All Things Bugs LLC will incentivize the growth of an entirely new area of agriculture in the US: farming of insects for human consumption.