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Because it is important to develop new sustainable sources of edible protein, insects have been recommended as a new protein source. This study applied Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to investigate the environmental impact of small-scale edible insect production unit in South Korea. IMPACT 2002 + was applied as the baseline impact assessment (IA) methodology. The CML-IA baseline, EDIP 2003, EDP 2013, ILCD 2011 Midpoint, and ReCiPe midpoint IA methodologies were also used for LCIA methodology sensitivity analysis. The protein, fat contents, and fatty acid profile of the investigated insect (Protaetia brevitarsis seulensis larvae) were analyzed to determine its potential food application. The results revealed that the studied edible insect production system has beneficial environmental effects on various impact categories (ICs), i.e., land occupation, mineral extraction, aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicity, due to utilization of bio-waste to feed insects. This food production system can mitigate the negative environmental effects of those ICs, but has negative environmental impact on some other ICs such as global warming potential. By managing the consumption of various inputs, edible insects can become an environmentally efficient food production system for human nutrition.
Nikkhah, A., Van Haute, S., Jovanovic, V., Jung, H., Dewulf, J., Cirkovic Velickovic, T., & Ghnimi, S. (2021). Life cycle assessment of edible insects (Protaetia brevitarsis seulensis larvae) as a future protein and fat source. Scientific Reports, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93284-8