Ÿnsect was founded in 2011 and is approaching its goal of opening the world's largest automated insect farm. Over 200,000 tonnes of insect-based ingredients are expected to be produced at the modern facility per year which will use vertical farming techniques and automated leverage systems in its warehouse space. There are already two Ÿnsect facilities operational in France and the Netherlands, this new site will be the biggest of all of them.
According to this Tree Hugger article, the operations in the warehouse are completely automated and a climate-control system maintains temperature and moisture. Mealworms do not hop or fly which allows the company to maximise the space available.
Mealworms have been cultivated at Ÿnsect's farms for 10 years and have been turned into powders and oils as nutritional additives to pet and farm feeds. The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) made a ruling in 2021 that deemed mealworms safe for human consumption which enabled the company to sell its powders for shakes, cereal bars, pasta, and even alt-meat burgers. The shed shells are also collected and sold as beneficial organic fertilizers to farmers.
The MealFlour project that promotes mealworm farming in Guatemala as a way to combat malnutrition, states that a serving of mealworm powder contains 55% protein, has more iron than sirloin beef and holds essential amino and fatty acids. Mealworms are more sustainable and require fewer resources and energy compared to the production of dairy and livestock.
Ÿnsect has been focused on sustainably feeding the animals that feed the world but their biggest aim is to prove that their beneficial properties for health and the environment could form a normal part of everyday diets.