Animal Health and Nutrition Forum "Can Algae and Insects Really Improve Farm Productivity?"


Everyone involved in animal production knows that animal feeds in the US are overwhelmingly dependent on corn and soybean meal. These two feed ingredients go well together in feed formulations for productive, efficient animal growth and optimal carcass composition. But factor in costs, global trade demands, and a consumer-led drive for sustainability and there are some alternative high protein feed ingredients that can be used to profitably produce animal protein. Two examples are algae and insects – yuk! But yes, there is data that shows how they can be used in animal feeds, sustainably and profitably, which you won’t want to miss if you are interested in the future of animal protein production.


Xingen Lei, is the Professor of Molecular Nutrition in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University. He received his B.S. and M.S. in China, Ph.D. from Michigan State University, and a postdoc training at the University of Missouri.

Xingen has an international reputation for his pioneering research on phytase, selenium, and microalgae nutrition. The new generation of bacterial phytases, he developed, are used in poultry and swine diets worldwide, helping reduce global phosphorus excretion of animals by 30%.  He also pioneered nutritional genomics of selenium in pigs and chickens. His current research is developing technology to convert poultry feathers and defatted microalgal biomass from biofuel production into sustainable, high-value alternative feed proteins to help mitigate climate changes. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor of Journal of Nutrition (since 2008), the President of Trace Elements in Man and Animals (TEMA), and a co-leader for a large USDA Sustainable Agricultural System Grant between Cornell and University of Arkansas to employ the US broiler industry for sustainability and transformation.

Xingen will discuss the nutritional, health, and environmental values of microalgae as animal feed protein linked to global opportunities and challenges.

Liz Koutsos is the President of EnviroFlight, a company that is pioneering the commercialization of black soldier fly larvae for feed and food applications.  Wholly owned by Darling Ingredients (DAR) EnviroFlight opened the first commercial-scale black soldier fly production facility in the US in 2019; and 2021 located its HQ to NC. 

Prior to EnviroFlight, Liz was the Director of Mazuri Exotic Animal Nutrition, a division of Land O’Lakes/Purina Mills. Previously Liz was on the faculty of the Animal Science Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.  She has a BS in Animal Science from University of Maryland, College Park and a MS and Ph.D. in Nutrition and Immunology at the University of California, Davis.  She is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at North Carolina State University, and a Smithsonian Research Associate.

Liz will present on how EnviroFlight upcycles regionally sourced by-products into sustainable high value ingredients to improve plant, animal and human nutrition worldwide; also focus on commercialization of insect protein production, the industry R&D focus areas; investment in this segment etc.

For More Information

For questions or more information, contact:
Hannah Cole
Program Manager, Science and Technology Development Science and Technology Development 919-549-8840 |



15 TW Alexander Drive

RTP, NC  27709

*There is also a virtual option available

Free, registration required
For More Information

For questions or more information, contact:
Hannah Cole
Program Manager, Science and Technology Development Science and Technology Development 919-549-8840 |

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