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ICAR-CIBA Signs MoU with Loopworm to Pioneer Insect-Based Protein in Aqua Feeds

ICAR-CIBA, Chennai, signed an MoU with Loopworm, a Bangalore-based insect biosciences startup, to explore the use of insect-based protein and oil in aqua feeds.

Saurabh Shukla
ICAR-CIBA Signs MoU with Loopworm to Pioneer Insect-Based Protein in Aqua Feeds (Photo Source: @icarciba/X)
ICAR-CIBA Signs MoU with Loopworm to Pioneer Insect-Based Protein in Aqua Feeds (Photo Source: @icarciba/X)

On June 26, 2024, ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), Chennai, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Loopworm, an innovative insect biosciences and bio-manufacturing startup based in Bangalore. This collaboration aims to evaluate the potential of insect-based protein and oil in aqua feeds, a crucial step towards sustainable aquaculture practices.

Loopworm stands as India's leading producer of insect-based protein and fat, boasting an impressive processing capacity of 6,000 metric tons of insects annually. Given the rapid expansion of aquaculture, there is an increasing demand for high-quality protein and oil, essential yet costly nutrients in aqua feed. Traditional sources like fishmeal and fish oil are becoming unsustainable, pushing researchers to explore alternative ingredients.

Insect-based protein and oil have emerged as promising alternatives, offering several benefits. Insects can grow on by-products with superior feed conversion efficiency, exhibit a low environmental impact, and pose minimal risk of transmitting zoonotic infections. These advantages make them a viable option for sustainable aqua feed.

The MoU specifically focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of Loopworm's products in the diets of shrimp and Asian seabass, two economically significant species in aquaculture. Mr. Ankit Alok Bagaria, Co-founder and CEO of Loopworm, highlighted the company's commitment to cost-effective production and scaling up their insect protein and oil outputs.

The signing event was organized by the Institute Technology Management Unit (ITMU) at ICAR-CIBA, with the presence of key stakeholders and experts from both organizations. 

This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the quest for sustainable aquaculture practices, promising to reduce reliance on traditional feed ingredients and promote environmental sustainability.

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