Insect processing systems

Insect processing offers a viable solution to the challenges of food scarcity. The increasing global population and a 50% increase in demand for protein-rich food supply make insect processing systems essential to provide high-nutritional value feedstock for fish, poultry, and livestock. Alfa Laval insect processing systems can extract high-quality insect proteins and lipids from many types of insects, especially the black soldier fly, crickets and mealworms (Tenebrio Molitor).

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Sustainable, high-quality protein meal for animal and aquaculture nutrition

  • High-quality end products, low energy consumption
  • Low temperature, short process time
  • Hygienic design with gentle product handling throughout
  • Quick start-up and shutdown time
  • Modular approach for step-wise capacity expansion

Insects are excellent sources of nutrients with 80% protein by weight. They have energy-rich fat and micronutrients and are a great source of iron for fish, poultry, livestock or even human consumption. Furthermore, using insects as food, we can raise an alternative food source that uses less space and has a reduced environmental impact than other protein sources such as chicken, pigs, and beef. 


Alfa Laval can provide food-grade processing lines for the production of food or food ingredients for human consumption. Furthermore, our insect processing systems are sustainable, high-yield solutions that reduce emissions and use less land, water and energy than conventional systems. 


Alfa Laval and partner Bühler Insect Technology Solutions (BITS) can provide full-scale insect processing solutions – from specific units to a complete plant for insect rearing and processing, including wet and dry rendering. At the core is the proven Alfa Laval Centriflow continuous wet rendering system to extract valuable proteins and lipids.


This combined expertise optimize industrial insect processing plants. The result? Higher protein recovery, more energy savings, and greater flexibility to ramp up production to meet growing demand.


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How it works

The Alfa Laval Centriflow insect systems are the core of the insect processing system, which is based on Alfa Laval’s proven core equipment. Wet rendering involves these steps:

  • Raw material preparation: pre-cutting larvae to improve pumpability, heating and separation efficiency
  • Heating: direct heating via steam injection into a melting tube or indirect heating using Alfa Laval Contherm scraped surface heat exchanger
  • Separation in 3 phase decanter: dewatering the heated raw material into solids, stick water and lipids stream by means of a three-phase decanter
  • Purification of lipids: purification the lipids fraction by means of centrifugal separation
  • Concentration of stick water: Removal of water from the stick water and recovery of the water-soluble protein fraction using the Alfa Laval AlfaVapTM plate evaporator
  • Drying and meal handling: Final dewatering of the decanter solids and stick water concentrate into the high quality insect protein meal

Insect processing

Extract maximum value from your raw material with a wet rendering system for insect protein and lipids. Minimal heating of the raw material and excellent hygiene gives your products supreme quality and first-class taste, ensuring a high market price. Whether you are just starting at pilot-scale or are running a full-scale insect protein processing plant, we invite you to contact us for a discussion with our application experts on scaling up and process optimization to support your development.

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Food system services

Alfa Laval Food system services help extend the performance of your food systems by maximizing the performance of your processes. This enables you to:

  • Continually improve your operations to maintain competitive advantage
  • Focus on uptime, optimization and availability
  • Maximize return on investment throughout the life cycle of your food systems

Learn more about our service offer

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