ICAR-CIBA Signs MoU with Loopworm: Partnership to evaluate insect-based protein and oil in aqua feeds.

ICAR-CIBA, Chennai signed a MoU with the team of M/s. Loopworm, an insect biosciences and bio manufacturing startup firm based in Bangalore on 26th June 2024 for evaluating the utility of insect based protein and oil in aqua feeds. Loopworm is the India’s largest insect based protein and fat producer with a processing capability of 6,000 MT insects annually. Protein and fat is the costliest nutrient in the aqua feed. With the rapid expansion of aquaculture, there is a growing demand for high-quality protein and oil in the aqua feed. Finding nutritionally appropriate and sustainable alternatives to fishmeal and fish oil is an applied research area that added many options to the aqua feed ingredient basket. Recently, insects have received significant attention as a new ingredient for aqua feed since they show many advantages such as low environmental impact, the ability to grow on by-products with better feed conversion efficiency, and a low risk of transmitting zoonotic infections.

The present MoU is for evaluating the utility of Loopworm’s products in shrimp and Asian seabass. According to Dr. M. Kailasam, Principal Scientist and Director-In- Charge, CIBA, this effort will undoubtedly provide a cost-effective alternative to the fish meal, contributing to the sustainability and competitiveness in the aqua feed sector, in the longer run.

Dr K. Ambasankar, Principal Scientist and team leader for the feed technology, briefed about the genesis significance of this MoU and outlined scope of its use in aqua feed production.

Mr. Ankit Alok Bagaria, Co-founder and CEO of Loopworm explained the plans for cost-effective production and scaling-up the insect protein and oil. He also expressed about the potential and future prospects of these sustainable resources for lending sustainability to Indian aqua feed sector. Mr. Abhishek Kandelwal, Lead Business Development, Loopworm, highlighted the significance of long time collaborative research interest of Loopworm with CIBA.

The event was organized by the Institute Technology Management Unit (ITMU) CIBA, and SIC, ITMU, Dr. P.K. Patil expressed the vote of thanks.