Published On: Wed, Sep 18th, 2019

Bug Farm Foods launches new low-fat insect and plant protein VEXo in Wales

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Bug Farm Foods, an insect protein company, has developed a new low-fat insect and plant protein VEXo as part of Welsh Government and Innovate UK under the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) project.

Launched at Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi, a school in St Davids, Wales, VEXo can be used like minced meat while reducing saturated fat by over 80%.

Lesley Griffiths – Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, UK, commenting on the launch of VEXo insect protein said: “In today’s climate it has never been a more important time to innovate in food production and simultaneously tackle environmental, sustainability and social issues.”

Chef Andy Holcroft and entomologist Dr Sarah Beynon, a husband and wife team, invented VEXo at a new research and development facility in St David’s.

Bug Farm Foods launches VEXo insect protein in Wales

VEXo insect protein launch – Research pods seen in a field at the Bug Farm Foods R&D centre in St David’s. Photo courtesy of Crown copyright.

Dr Sarah Beynon said: “Insects are exceptionally nutrient-dense and environmentally sustainable to produce.

“Many insects contain weight-for-weight a similar amount of protein to beef and they can contain all nine essential amino acids.

“Insects can be farmed in high-welfare farms while requiring very little feed, water and space and emitting hardly any greenhouse gases.”

Andy Holcroft and Dr Sarah Beynon have also founded the UK’s first full-time edible insect restaurant Grub Kitchen and a research centre – Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm.

With obesity costing the NHS in Wales around £73 million, nearly one-third of 2-15-year-olds are overweight or obese.

Encouraged by increasing demand for new and more sustainable sources of protein, the edible insect industry has grown at an incredible rate across Europe and North America for the last few years.

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