SUSINCHAIN – sustainable insect chain

SUSINCHAIN is a project funded with a grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. The new European research project SUSINCHAIN will start on October 1st 2019. The project aims to contribute to novel protein provision for feed and food in Europe.

SUSINCHAIN addresses topic LC-SFS-17-2019 ‘Alternative proteins for food and feed’ in the call ‘Sustainable Food Security (SFS)’, which is part of the Work Programme ‘Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research and the bio-economy’. SUSINCHAIN aims to contribute to research and innovation in relation to Food and Nutrition Security in Europe and beyond. SUSINCHAIN identifies and assesses protein derived from four different insect species (Black Soldier Fly, Housefly, Mealworm and Crickets) as novel or alternative protein sources for food and/or feed. Efficient production and processing technologies to convert biomass by insects into high quality, safe, healthy, and sustainable products or ingredients are tested and validated. Nutritional values, functional and sensory properties of insect products will be characterised and protein-protein interactions for knowledge-based (re)formulations of human diets that partly or fully could substitute traditional sources are evaluated. Insect products are incorporated in formulations for both regular human diets as well as animal feeds for rainbow trout, seabass, salmon, laying hens, broilers and piglets. The synergies in applications for food and feed, in particular for aspects linked to farming, logistics, processing, safety and sustainability aspects of the insect value chains, make that the multi-actor approach of SUSINCHAIN is the instrument to boost the market for insects as an alternative protein source. All SUSINCHAIN activities comprise testing, demonstrating and/or piloting in a pilot or (near to) operational environment, all with a view to paving the way for commercialisation of insect protein.


SUSINCHAIN specific objectives:

  1. Develop business models, increase market opportunities and share best (and worst) practices among insect value chain stakeholders for overcoming supply and demand-side barriers to large-scale commercialisation of high-quality insect proteins for food and feed in Europe and for increasing consumer acceptance.
  2. Facilitate large-scale commercial rearing of insects with continuous quality and efficiency improvement by sharing best practices; optimising feed substrates; prevention of insect diseases and; the sustainable and economically use of side streams (frass, chitin and fat).
  3. Demonstrate and optimise the large-scale implementation of transport and processing technologies for insects at demo and industrial sites.
  4. Validate research at a commercially-relevant scale on the inclusion of insect-derived proteins in animal diets, so to compose commercial insect-based feed that will guarantee optimal animal performance and product quality.
  5. Pilot the integration of insects as part of daily meals of European consumers by testing and refining the nutritional value, sensory quality, and addressing consumer acceptance of six novel insect-based food products.
  6. Develop tools that effectively control the safety of insects and insect-derived products along the entire production chain.
  7. Develop a decision support system for insect industry to ensure that the growth of the insect supply chain in Europe remains economically and environmentally sustainable.
  8. Develop strategies and business plans for exploitation of project results, and ensure proper communication and dissemination of project results, to raise awareness, improve consumer trust and acceptability, and develop a sustainable communication platform for the future.


The duration of the project will be 48 months and the project will be conducted in collaboration with 18 industrially and 17 academic partners with a total budget of over 8.5 million euro.