While in Yunnan Province, China, in January, I was able to visit the Research Institute for Resource Insects. This institute has a number of departments investigating a range of areas where insects can be beneficial. One of these is the area of edible insects and insects for livestock feed.
The institute has documented over 300 different species of edible insects across China and carried out studies into their nutritional make-up, health-giving properties and technologies for farming them.
They were very pleased to receive my visit and we discussed a number of ways in which we could work together.
They are just launching a new network of their own with businesses working in insect farming.
One idea that I explored was the potential for them to carry out the studies needed to enable evidence portfolios to be created for species of insects not currently benefiting from applications to be approved under the Novel Food regulations. We will investigate what quality standards their laboratories have to comply with for their findings to be accepted but it may be a way in which these studies can be carried out at a lower cost than in the UK.
I was very pleased to be given a copy of their book on edible insects in China, sadly in Chinese.
The slides from their presentations are available on the Woven website.
Do get in touch if you would like to explore the potential for collaboration.
Their areas of research focus on:
Investigation of entomophagy practices in China;
Edible species investigation and identification;
Nutrition analysis and food safety evaluation;
Study on biological characteristics of important species;
Genetic structure and genetic variation analysis;
Extraction, identification and functional analysis of active ingredients
They have gathered evidence and samples of the wide range of edible insects:
Over 40 new-found edible species have been discovered through investigation and identification;
An insect collection has been established, and about 100 kinds of insects from 35 family 10 orders.
Their nutrition analysis
55 species edible insects, mainly focus on wasp, dragonfly and moth.
Heavy metal analysis, microbiological analysis and purines and uric acid contents analysis also have been carried on in some insects, such as wasps, cockroach, dragonflies,
Developing farming technology for certain species:
Grasshoper, wasp, cockroach, cricket, darkling beetle……
Studying the composition of insects: