Work first started on The Bug in 2017, after EU legislation finally allowed the use of (PAP) Processed Animal Proteins from insects within aquaculture feed. This was something we had been desperately waiting for, as it opened a whole new world regarding sustainable protein sources that were now able to be used within the bait market.
We were then able to begin talks with a Black Soldier Fly meal producer that was producing the high quality of meal we were looking for. Although a relatively new biotech company at the time, their ethics and technical knowledge regarding the meal and its production were commendable and we felt confident we could work with them going forward.
Our chosen meal producer uses a very consistent substrate made up of spoils from the brewing industry. Through this method, you can control the fat content and protein levels of the finished product. Most insect meals available are high in fat (around 35-40% compared to, say, 10-15% in fishmeal), and although these are quite good fats, they are not quite the right type for aquaculture. This means they have a bit less alpha-linolenic acid (one of the omega 3 acids) as opposed to the more rounded profile of the omega 3s found in fishmeals. This is because of the primarily cereal-based substrate the larvae are fed on. We preferred our meal to be completely defatted, meaning we could control the amount of the nutritionally required omega 3s in the bait by adding oil to the mix at the production stage which, in turn, means we are using a meal higher in protein than others on the market, along with more nutritional fats.
The bait is unique in that although it is designed using cutting-edge ingredients, it still has that old-school feel to it that we know gives you, the angler, confidence that the carp will love it and, rest assured, they certainly do!