ValuSect - Valuable Insects
Transnational cooperation to strengthen the development of insect-based food products
At a time of rising population and decreasing resources sustainable alternative resources for food are needed. This is especially important in very densely populated areas like North-West Europe. Insects could be one of these resources. As part of Interreg North-West Europe, the ValuSect consortium aims to strengthen the transnational cooperation and exploitation of research on insects as resources for the development of (semi) finished food products.
Currently, mainly driven by demand from migrated communities or by the development of niche markets, the trade in insects as food in Western countries is limited. Thanks to the ValuSect consortium this could be broadly expanded. Its lead partner organisation is the Thomas More University of Applied Sciences. Together with this leader, 9 full members as well as 8 associated partners from 7 countries are part of this transnational project.
Approximately 30% of EU consumers are willing to eat insect-based food, a practice also known as entomophagy. The ValuSect consortium aims to enhance this level of acceptance by improving the quality of insect production and processing, including its environmental impact.
Research will be done on:
- the emission of greenhouse gasses
- the impact of the substrate
- food safety
- shelf life
of the food product.
The project will use insect species that are subject of a novel food dossier. It will focus on the development of an accelerator program for insect-based food products. In the form of various amount of vouchers for SMEs, this program will transfer knowledge to enterprises and actors from the whole supply chain. Such knowledge transfers between stakeholders will be key for the development of this market.
Improving insect production as well as consumers’ attitude are at the heart of the project which aspires to make insects a crucial part of tomorrow’s more sustainable diet in North-West Europe.
The project has a total budget of €3.47m, €2.08m of this was received from Interreg North-West Europe
Project Timeline: 2019-2023
Thomas More Kempen vwz (Belgium)
Inagro vzw (Belgium)
Aberystwyth University (The United Kingdom)
Zürcher Fachhochschule (Switzerland)
Stichting Fontys (The Netherlands)
Boerenbondvereniging voor projecten vzw (Belgium)
Teagasc the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland (Ireland)
New Generation Nutrition Pro-Active (The Netherlands)
BIC Innovation Limited (The United Kingdom)
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