Study of the feasibility of reducing the percentage of soy in monogastric and ruminant feed by using more sustainable protein sources

Nuria Tous | Nutrició Animal i Producció de Remugants (IRTA)

Soy is the most widely used protein source for animal feed to date, and poses a considerable risk to the environment. The use of alternative proteins to soy is therefore essential for a more sustainable animal production system.

This approach facilitates the production of protein locally through insects with low land and capital requirements, and the fact that insects can be fed with by-products gives economic value to products that may not otherwise enter the food chain, generally making insects a more sustainable source of protein. In addition, insect meal may also have probiotic properties which can have a significant impact on the reduction of antibiotic use, thus contributing to reduced development of antimicrobial resistance. In addition to insects, alternative proteins include algae, other European-grown legumes such as peas, and single-cell proteins, among others.

The process ranges from the characterisation of the experimental product, in this case the alternative protein, the manufacture of the feed and the study of the impact that these experimental diets may have on the animal species of interest, to the study of the final quality of the product (meat, eggs) and the environmental impact.


Work has been carried out with leading companies in different sectors, such as meat, animal feed, wine and insect production.

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