ENT-21306 Insects as Food and Feed


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work5
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. JJA van Loon
Lecturer(s)dr. A Herwig
dr. ir. DGAB Oonincx
dr. PM Poortvliet
dr. ir. JW Schrama
prof. dr. ir. JJA van Loon
dr. ir. CMM Lakemond
prof. dr. ir. WH Hendriks
dr. ir. G Bosch
dr. ir. HJ van der Fels-Klerx
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. JJA van Loon

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Continuation courses:

ANU-30806 Animal Nutrition and Physiology; 
ANU-31306 Feed Technology;
ENT-30806 Fundamental and Applied Aspects of the Biology of Insects;
FQD-22306 Food Quality Analysis and Judgement;
FQD-64306 Food Quality Management Research Principles.


Edible insects constitute high quality food for humans and feed for livestock, poultry and fish in terms of nutrient composition. Producing insects as animal protein source has a number of environmental advantages over livestock production. The course addresses insects as human food and animal feed from multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary perspectives involving natural and socio-economic sciences and relevant stakeholders. Questions addressed are: what is the current status of insects as food and feed? How can insects become a future source of proteins for humans, fish and livestock? How are insects harvested and can this be done sustainably? How can insects be farmed (household level and industrial farming)? How to process and preserve insects as food and feed? What are the environmental benefits or disadvantages of using insects as a new protein source in comparison with conventional meat production? What are the challenges of using insects as a feed source for fish, poultry and pigs? What are the food safety and legislative issues involved in using insects as food and feed? How to market insects as food: tackling consumer attitudes and developing marketing strategies. Two insect species that are currently produced globally, the Yellow Mealworm and the Black Soldier Fly, serve as models to address the questions mentioned.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain if insects could be a viable alternative to conventional meat sources;
- explain what are the major challenges to develop insects as a new protein source for food and feed;
- recognize the ecological, economical, and sociological characteristics of this new food and feed sector;
- explain the nutritional benefits and the gastronomical possibilities of insects as food;
- explain processing and preservation techniques;
- explain food and feed safety issues and the legislation in place that affect the adoption of insects as food and feed;
- identify the economic interests of all stakeholders involved, explain how these interests align, and how this might influence the choice and structure of the new sector.


- lectures (24 lectures);
- group assignment;
- half-day practical.


Final grading is based on a written exam (65%) composed of  multiple choice questions, and the case study report (35%). For both elements a minimum pass mark of 5.5 is required.
The grade for the case study report is valid for 2 years.


Van Huis, A.; Tomberlin, J.K. (eds.) (2017). Insects as Food and Feed. From Production to Consumption. Wageningen Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-8686-296-2; 447 pp. 

Restricted Optional for: BFTFood TechnologyBSc3WD
Compulsory for: WUFAOBSc Minor Foods of Animal Origin3WD