A project designed to strengthen the development of insect-based food products is looking to scale up by issuing funding to companies to aid its research.
The ValuSect project intends to improve the sustainable production and processing techniques of insect-based products, as well as strength the cooperation and knowledge between companies in north-west Europe.
Funded by a €2.08m grant from Interreg North-West Europe, the project officially launched earlier this year by a consortium of partners with a main goal of developing an accelerator programme for insect-based food products as a sustainable alternative resource.
ValuSect is offering interested companies a voucher worth up to €40,000 in services delivered by the project partners. These services aim to help companies develop products, conduct consumer taste panels, optimise breeding condition and improve insect food processing.
Through its project, the consortium aims to improve consumer attitudes and expand the insect-based food market further into western countries by improving the quality of food and reducing its environmental impact.
Research will focus on the emission of greenhouse gases, the impact of substrates, food safety and the shelf life of insect-based food products. ValuSect will use species that currently have an application running for authorisation under the EU novel food regulation.
“The question is no longer if insects can be the solution for the increasing protein demand; now the focus is on the search for the best strategy to strengthen this development,” said Sabine Van Miert, project leader, Thomas More University.
ValuSect, which stands for Valuable Insects, is coordinated by Thomas More University and currently consists of nine full members and eight associated partners from seven different countries. Members include Zürcher Fachhochschule, Teagasc, and New Generation Nutrition Pro-Active.
The launch of the vouchers will take place during this autumn and the project plans to run until June 2023.
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