Archer-Daniels-Midland is partnering with French firm InnovaFeed SAS to expand the use of insect protein in U.S. pet food. 

InnovaFeed will begin research and development operations at what it calls the world’s largest insect-protein facility in Decatur, Illinois, this year, the company said in a statement.

The partnership with ADM follows recent U.S. regulation allowing the use of black soldier fly in food for dogs. Insects are seen as an alternative protein that can help the food industry burnish its sustainability credentials amid rising demand for animal feed and greater scrutiny of carbon emissions.

The market may develop beyond pet food to what people eat. InnovaFeed is also targeting the U.S. in 2022 as a promising market, offering some products as alternative ingredients to animal and plant-based protein.

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