Our project was born in mid-2016, at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto when one of our founders Guilherme Pereira, decided to venture into a final degree project, where it was proposed to develop an Energy Bar with the incorporation of insect flour.
My first contact with insects was simply great, because without ever having tried such food before, Professor Luis Cunha challenged me to taste dehydrated Tenebrios, Crickets and Grasshoppers. I couldn't say no, and luckily I didn't, insects are definitely delicious.
Guilherme Pereira, Portugal Bugs
After finishing the degree in the summer of 2016, we were present at a seminar at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, related to the production of insects and thus immediately started the project Portugal Bugs, in Guilherme Pereira's garage with the collaboration of also food engineer Sara Martins, in a small cardboard box, where the air conditioning came from a small heating lamp, with the objective of understanding and optimizing the creation of Tenebrio molitor always with the focus on make our production automated.
The Portugal Bugs always aimed to stand out for the production and transformation of insects, and in this way we were developing formulations of food products that used insect flour in its genesis. This goal of ours led us to dream bigger, and thanks to the fact that we were awarded in several national entrepreneurship contests, in 2018 it was possible to start with our pilot insect breeding unit.
Between production and transformation, the increase in knowledge about entomophagy was never left aside, and we were always aware of the need to be present at various events at European level related to the theme and in November 2017 we attended the IPIFF annual conference (Internacional Plataform of Insects for Food and Feed) where we had the opportunity to meet other companies and try to develop the national insect sector in this way.
Portugal Bugs was one of the founding companies of the Association representing national producers and processors, called Portugal Insect.
For the moment Portugal Bugs is in Perafita with its pilot plant for the production of Mealworm and Acheta domesticawhere it has a production capacity of a few tens of kilos per month, allied to this pilot unit also has a set of food products with insects.
In this way, we stand out for being pioneers in the production and transformation of insects in Portugal and we work daily to remain at the forefront of the sector.