The larvae - or maggots - of one of Australia's native flies will soon be available as commercial feed for poultry, aquaculture and pets.
Canberra-based start-up Goterra uses black soldier fly maggots to convert food waste into protein suitable for both non-ruminant animals and humans.
Goterra chief executive Olympia Yarger will tell the Global Food event in Melbourne that insect products have a big future in stockfeed.
The maggots are currently dried but the next step will be to render them for commercial stockfeed production.
"It's really just a question of scaling and getting that product to market in the commercial quantities," Ms Yarger said.
"We sort of end up caught in that unfortunate proposition of being too small to use a commercial rendering facility and too big to be using the hydration techniques for much longer."
Goterra's dehydrated maggots are 47 per cent protein and 37pc fat, although those values may change as processing techniques develop.
"They're really high fat, which is almost too high for regular diet inclusion, which is why rendering will be important," Ms Yarger said.
"By and large, the product is comparable some people say to soy meal, others say fish meal."
Rendered products will be powder and oil.
The scarcity of insect protein commanded a premium.
The price of insect protein right now is inflated because of how much there is around," Ms Yarger said.
"We value it around $1700 a tonne and expect that to be a reasonable price point given the availability of the product and its protein content.
"The price will be more stable because even if it doesn't rain, this product can be produced."
Stock Feed Manufacturers' Council of Australia (SFMCA) executive officer Duncan Rowland said there was real interest in insect protein.
"It's great to have another source of protein," he said.
"It could become a valuable feed source of all types of livestock if governments can make up their minds whether it's okay for ruminants."
Ms Yarger will address Global Table, which runs from September 3-6.