Infotech Ynsect, the start-up that intends to feed the planet with insects

Ynsect, the start-up that intends to feed the planet with insects

The Tenebrio molitor is a gregarious insect. Isolation stresses this mealworm, so it forms swarming clusters with its congeners. ” It is an evolutionary reflex. When they are in a group like this, the birds are afraid and turn away », Explains Antoine Hubert, 37, co-founder and CEO of Ynsect, one of the French flagships of insect breeding, created in 2011. In this case, the beige larvae are massed in the corner of a red plastic bin, under a laboratory neon light. The same crates are stacked 18 meters high in the adjacent room. Every two days, they are taken out of their location by a giant robot, which places them on a conveyor belt.

In an atmosphere stabilized at 26 ° C, the insects leave to “Feeding” : a pipe pours over them a plaster of wheat bran, in which they thin out before sorting. Our worms are then sieved, to separate the small from the large, the dying from the healthy, the eggs of their parents. The largest, 5% to 10% of the “herd”, become reproducers, while the others take the path of the kettle, which reduces them to inert flesh, then pressed, centrifuged, dried. The molitor did not hurt, assures Antoine Hubert, who made floor of the philosophers of the Sorbonne on the suffering of the insect. But all that remains of him is a greyish flour and a very yellow oil.

Antoine Hubert, agricultural engineer by training and co-founder of Ynsect. (Arnaud Finist

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