Leon Marchal

Director Nutrition & Innovation, ForFarmers

Leon leads an international team of nutritionists and innovation managers for the world’s eighth largest animal feed company, ForFarmers. The team is responsible for day-to-day technical performance as well as the delivery of new innovative products to the business.  He is also active in various research collaborations with other companies, institutes and universities, including the department of animal nutrition at Wageningen University.  He graduated cum laude from Wageningen as a bioprocess engineer and has a PhD from the same institution.

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They are what they eat:  How to ‘grow’ and feed insects safely for the animal food chain

Though rich in business potential, the use of insects as an alternative protein source in animal feeds remains in its infancy.  If that potential is to be fully realised, there remains much we need to learn about how insects can be produced cost efficiently, safely and in ways that protect animal, and ultimately, human health.  Leon, who heads up ForFarmers’ innovation programme in this area, is at the forefront of current research.  He tells us what’s been learned so far and provides guidance for businesses eager to introduce insects to the animal food chain.

  • No waste in the food chain – why insects must be ‘grown’ on animal feed grade material and cannot be raised on waste, manure or other low grade materials
  • How insects eat – the accumulation of heavy metals is different between insects, is driven by their diet and could be prevented
  • Beating the mycotoxins – the latest evidence that shows some insect larvae may breakdown dangerous toxins naturally occurring on food crops
  • Next steps – upcoming research projects and how business can get involved and invest wisely