Multi X becomes first in Chile to raise salmon exclusively on insect protein

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Chilean salmon farmer Multi X is expecting next Spring a big milestone in its 35-year history: the harvest of Atlantic salmon reared exclusively on fish feed made with insect protein.

The company entered the country’s salmon aquaculture record books this month for becoming the first salmon farmer locally to raise salmon on insect meal.

Multi X said it is raising 1.4 million salmon on the insect feed developed by aquaculture feed company Biomar and Chilean startup Food 4 the Future (F4F).

The fish will be harvested in March 2023 at the Multi X sea centers in the Magallanes Region.

The feeding project is meant to diversify the company’s protein sources for farmed salmon and advance the company’s sustainability goals.

“It is a significant step towards exploring sustainable food alternatives that reduce the carbon footprint of the final product… and allows us to have a final product of the best quality, expanding the sources of inputs used in its development and cultivation,” said Martín Hepp, Multi X farming manager.

F4F cultivates the insect larvae and produces both the meal and insect oil. It has thoroughly investigated the scope and efficiency of insect protein in fish feed, said Multi X.

According to commercial manager of F4F, Felipe Mayol, the trials of the insect protein have proven it to have competitive nutritional performance.

Commercial Manager of BioMar, Michael Adler hopes that other salmon producers in Chile will follow suit.

“They are long-term decisions and implementations, not exempt from costs or challenges, but with an eye on the future. We trust that, gradually, there will be more companies betting on this protein,” he said.