The French company Ÿnsect, founded in Paris in 2011, converts insects into high-performance natural protein solutions for pets, fish, plants and human food sources.
In 2020, Ÿnsect’s insect-based fertiliser product, ŸnFrass, gained certification and marketing approval from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES); making Ÿnsect the first company to obtain marketing approval for such a fertiliser.
What is ŸnFrass?
ŸnFrass is a fertiliser that is made from the ‘frass’ or excrement of Molitor or Buffalo mealworms. The mealworms are produced by Ÿnsect in vertical farms, situated on the company’s sites in France and the Netherlands.
The fertiliser is balanced in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK 4-3-2) for optimal plant nutrition and has an organic matter content of 87%, to better the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil too.
It comes as a (90% dry matter) dry product pellet, and is odourless. Ÿnsect recommend using between two and 6 tons/ha of the fertiliser, depending on the crop, for commercial farms, or adding a few pellets to soil or into flowerpots for smaller gardening setups.
According to Ÿnsect fertiliser trial data, the ŸnFrass fertiliser produced significant biomass and yield increases for rapeseed, wheat and corn crops, when compared to a 100% mineral fertiliser.
For rapeseed crops, Ÿnsect recorded a 300% increase in biomass before winter, with a biomass increase of 75% at the early flowering stage, as well as a visible dose effect and yield increases of 20%; wheat crops recorded a 40% increase in biomass and a 25% increase in shoot numbers; and corn crops registered a 70% increase in biomass at the 8-leaf stage.
The ŸnFrass trials also show that the fertiliser could be used to improve the mineralisation of organic matter in soil and the formation of the clay-humid complex. According to Ÿnsect, when measured under greenhouse conditions, microbial activity showed a strong increase where ŸnFrass was present (+180% in loam-clay soil and +250% in luvisol) – compared to the use of 100% mineral fertiliser.
UK availability of ŸnFrass
Currently, Ÿnsect products are only available in France, Spain, Germany and Austria. However, Ÿnsect is working to make its products available in the UK. Regardless, Guillaume Daoulas, Ÿnsect’s business development director, says that anyone who would like further information should not hesitate to contact the company.