Following the European Food Safety Authority’s decision in January to deem mealworms safe for human consumption, natural insect protein supplier Ÿnsect has acquired Protifarm, a global leader in mealworm ingredients for human food applications. Protifarm boasts nearly 40 years of experience in insect breeding and owns 37 patents across 10 categories, bringing the total number of patents owned by Ÿnsect to nearly 300.
Beyond expanding Ÿnsect’s food range derived from insect ingredients, the deal will also provide Ÿnsect with a third production site. In addition to its sites in France, Ÿnsect can now call upon Protifarm’s Dutch production site based in Ermelo, east of Amsterdam, solidifying the company’s position as the world’s largest insect food and feed player.
“Protifarm is a compelling fit for Ÿnsect, perfectly matching our long-term goals and sustainability values,” said Antoine Hubert, co-founder and CEO of Ÿnsect. “Acquiring Protifarm is a strategic next step for us, strengthening Ÿnsect’s leading position in the global market and allowing us to properly address the human and pet food markets with complementary products.”
The Dutch state-of-the-art vertical farm produces more than 1,000 metric tons of food ingredients annually. With two Ÿnsect production sites in operation and one under construction, the result is an increase in volume and accelerated production and delivery to customers.
“The evolution of a more sustainable intake of nutrition is only at its beginning, but the demand for products meeting these standards is set to grow exponentially in the coming years,” added Tom Mohrmann, CEO of Protifarm. “The consolidation of Protifarm with Ÿnsect will expand our scale to meet this demand globally.”
With established food customers in Germany, the Netherlands, England, Denmark, and Belgium, Protifarm’s Novel Food application is expected to receive EU approval in the near term. As Protifarm’s Buffalo mealworm and Ÿnsect’s Molitor mealworm meet complementary needs, the company now offers a platform of interchangeable food and feed ingredients, addressing the demand for different premium applications coming from two types of mealworm.