French insect-based animal feed and fertiliser company Ynsect has just gained approval for its natural insect fertiliser YnFrass from ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety.
This makes it the first company in the world to obtain certification and marketing approval for a natural insect-based fertiliser, according to Ynsect CEO Antoine Hubert.
The fertiliser is derived from the waste - or frass - of the mealworm which feeds on cereal by-products at Ynsect’s factory in Dole, France. Named YnFrass, the product has taken four years of research and development. It can be used in conventional crops or organic farming in accordance with regulation no. 384/2007.
Mr Hubert says: “Since the opening of Ynsite, our pilot plant four years ago, Ynsect has sought to use the by-products of protein production from Molitor [protein for fish and pet food], in particular the insect waste, frass.”
YnFrass is balanced in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK 4-3-2) for optimal plant nutrition and has an organic matter content of 85 per cent, says Mr Hubert. “This is perfectly suited for the improvement of the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil.”
The product is dry, in the form of granules – 90 per cent dry matter - odourless and easily transportable, he adds.
It was tested on wheat and rapeseed in 2018, where is showed 100 per cent additional yield in wheat compared with no fertiliser. In oilseed rape, Mr Hubert said there was a 20 per cent increase in yield, compared with a conventional NPK fertiliser.
In another trial, the product provided a 33 per cent additional yield in potatoes compared with no fertiliser. Performance of potatoes was the same with the product as a conventional NPK fertiliser, says Mr Hubert.
YnFrass has also been tested in vegetable cultivation, viticulture and ornamental plants, where results are said to be encouraging.
Mr Hubert says the product is about 10 per cent more expensive than conventional fertiliser.