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Insects as Feed and Food

University of Pisa
5 days
Full time
Summer / Short course

Program description

Insects as Feed and Food

With the world population expected to exceed 9.7 billion by 2050, food production needs to increase by 70%. Food system is under pressure and several national/international organizations found in insects a potential answer to respond to the demand for sustainable and high-quality nutrient to feed a growing population. Therefore, the interest about edible insects is continuously increasing, due to their environmental, nutritional and productive features. Reared insects showed lower environmental impact, higher production capacity and feed conversion ratio efficiency than conventional production animals. Noteworthy, FAO indicated insects as food and feed as a potential and practical answer to the world demand of food proteins.

Insects are part of natural diets of several animals. Conversely, their use as feed in livestock productions is still low due to regulation/laws which do not list insects as an available ingredient. The use of insects’ protein meals or oil could be promoted as substitution of soy-fish-maize-wheat meal-oil in order to lower the environmental impact (use of land, water, sea).

Worldwide more than 2,000 species of insects are consumed as food, mostly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Entomophagy, the habit of eating insects, was abandoned by Western world several centuries ago. Historically, insects were harvested from nature and due to environmental reasons, the harvesting yield in temperate zones was lower than in the tropics, as insects size is smaller, their occurrence is less clumped and they are unavailable in winter time. Insects for human consumption show good potential as nutritive and sustainable efficient source. Nevertheless, cultural barriers could make them difficult to be accepted as food in some countries.

Even if insects seem to pose a low risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases, allergies mostly comparable to those related to crustaceans (invertebrates) may occur. Consumers’ willingness to eat will drive the entire market, even though insect-based food (e.g. whole, roasted, burgers, protein snacks) or already well-known foods supplemented with insect powder/oil (e.g. pizza, pasta, bread, cookies) are in the future prospect of reaching our tables.

In an optic of future food production with lower environmental impact and increased circular economy, insects as feed and food could surely help shifting the world to a sustainable and resilient path, providing an important contribution to several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

During the Summer School the main topics "Insects as Feed and Food" will be presented in the European contest. From the legislative structure to the farming systems, focusing on the practical applications of insects as human food and animal feed. Nutritional value of insects and their features will be part of the course in the optic of a progressive increase in animal productions with a decreasing negative environmental impact.

Admission requirements

  • Bachelor Degree
  • Fluent English

Who can apply

  • Everybody interested in the insect food-feed sectors.
  • Students, public/private sectors, entrepreneurs, academics.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

The Summer School aims to increase awareness and competencies about insects as feed and food learning the basic principle and form the students to design future sustainable pathways in the sector. In the next years an increase in insect rearing is expected in order to maintain high nutritional standards to response to human food requirements and population growth. The course aims to form future professional figures that can be part of this challenge.

Program delivery

The school will be entirely held online, via Microsoft Teams.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees: 500 euro


After passing the exam the University of Pisa will register the course as an official exam of 3 ECTS.

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Want to know more about this program, Insects as Feed and Food? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.

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About this institute

Summer Courses & Master Programs at University of Pisa, Italy

Established in 1343, the University of Pisa is an internationally-renown public institution, ranking among the top eight Italian universities and top 300 universities world-wide. The university has 20 departments with many high-level research centers, such as: Agriculture Astrophysics Computer science...

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Why study at University of Pisa

Founded in 1343, the University of Pisa is one of the most prestigious universities in Italy. Famous alumni of the University include Galileo Galilei, 3 Nobel prize winners and 2 Fields medalist.It is amongst the top 3 universities in Italy (ARWU).Nowadays the University of Pisa represents a prestigious modern center for teaching and advanced research.Pisa offers international students the unique opportunity to study and experience the richness of Italian history and culture in a beautiful and stimulating environment. Famous across the world for the Leaning Tower, almost all of its departments are located in the heart of the city. Its strategic geographical location, the international airport and the excellent rail connections offer the possibility of weekend trips to other parts of Italy and Europe.

The Foundation Course

A one-year programme taught exclusively in English, which bridges the gap between High School and University studies and it equips students with the appropriate academic grounding for an Italian degree at the University of Pisa.This programme is aimed at International students who have 11 or 10 years of schooling and have successfully completed High School and at American students who have not taken Advanced Placement (AP) courses during the last year of High School nor have attended 2 years of College

Summer Schools

Intensive academic courses for international students and also for graduates.They mostly last from 1 to 6 weeks and take place in an international context, with students and lecturers coming from various parts of the world and all lectures delivered in English.They are characterized by nonconventional teaching formats (workshops, tutorials, excursions, cultural events, business testimonials, etc.) and a multidisciplinary approach. Professors are experts in their areas and have a keen interest in what they do.Summer Schools meet strict academic regulations: each grants at least 3 ECTS credits and the participants who successfully pass the final exams will receive an official academic transcript.

Contact info

University of Pisa

Lungarno Pacinotti 43
56126 Pisa

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