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A switch to insect-based animal feeds could help the UK reach its net zero carbon emissions target, researchers say.  Among other issues, tackling emissions from agriculture is vital if the UK is to reach its 2050 target, and insect-based feeds offer a promising method to feed animals in a sustainable, low-carbon way. Exploring the science behind insect-based feeds has never been more topical, and a project led by Entec Nutrition, which was set up by 2 University of Exeter scientists, has won a £250,000 grant from the Innovate UK's transforming food production scheme to do just that.Insect-based feeds offer a promising method to feed animals in a sustainable, low-carbon way. Photo: Henk Riswick“We are thrilled to have won this Innovate UK grant with our research partners,” says Dr Olivia Champion, who co-founded Entec Nutrition with University of Exeter colleague Professor Richard Titball. “It’s really exciting for Entec Nutrition to form part of the UK’s...

Oxidation of fats and oils (rancidity) is a natural reaction that occurs when unsaturated fatty acids are exposed to free oxygen. Antioxidants could therefore be added to animal feeds to prevent oxidation. During the reaction between unsaturated fatty acids and free oxygen, a peroxy radical is formed when the triglyceride free radical reacts with an oxygen molecule. The peroxy radical then reacts with another triglyceride, forming hydroperoxides, which are very unstable and break down into a number of secondary products such as aldehydes and alcohols, which contribute to the unpleasant flavours associated with rancid fats. They may also form other polymers that are unavailable and therefore reduce the energy content of the fat and are capable of affecting the absorption of, or even destroying, fat-soluble vitamins. Currently, there are no reliable standards for measuring the level of rancidity of fats, but it is generally accepted that fats with a peroxide value...

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