Insects’ safe journey to the dinner table

Friday 29 Nov 19


Dorte Lau Baggesen
Head of Division
National Food Institute
+45 35 88 62 07

The production of insects emits 100 times less CO2 than the production of cattle. Thus, insects are an excellent protein source for sustainable and healthy foods and for animal feed as well. The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, works closely with authorities and producers to pave the way for a production where feed and food safety are paramount.

Today, legislation requires that feedstuff for breeding insects must be of vegetable origin and of feed-grade quality approved also for other food production animals.

"The ambition is to ensure a profitable mass production of insects in the industry in the short term so that they can be used in food and feed. In the long term, it is our hope that it becomes legal and safe for organic household waste, which today ends up as biogas or in the incineration plant, to be used as a growth substrate for insects."
Head of Division Dorte Lau Baggesen

Together with its project partners, the National Food Institute is exploring how more residuals from the production of food can be used as a growth substrate for insects. In particular, the legislation places strict restrictions on the use of residuals and waste products containing fish and meat.

The National Food Institute is also exploring how heat treatment and processing in the production chain affects the insects. These results may provide the authorities with the necessary scientific basis for making a decision on an amendment of the legislation.

Read more

Read more about the National Food Institute’s research into insects in an article from the National Food Institute’s 60th anniversary publication: Insects’ safe journey to the dinner table

The National Food Institute is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, as it was decided on June 5, 1959 to establish a national food institute in Denmark. 

You can also read the articles: At the forefront of healthy, safe and sustainable foods, Seaweed and micro algae on the menu and Eating grass is not for ruminants only.

The National Food Institute develops new and better food products for a growing population

According to forecasts from the UN, the world population will grow by more than two billion people over the next decades so that the total world population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050. At the same time, the middle class is growing, and more people are moving from the countryside to the cities. 

As such, there will be more mouths to feed, and the demand for healthy and convenient foods is also increasing.

The UN estimates that in 2050 we must produce 70% more food than we do today to feed the world population. However, the current way of producing food will most likely not be able to meet this demand. 

There is a need for research and innovation to find new sources of healthy, safe, and better foods and food components. 

The National Food Institute’s vision is to make a difference by developing new and better food products for the growing population. The institute finds new raw materials and ingredients, assesses their nutritional content and the safety in using them – and develops technologies with which to produce them. 

Foods must be healthy, safe and preferably also tasty.

Image: National Food Institute

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