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Turning Food Waste Into High-Tech Materials With the Help of Flies

That might sound like a crazy headline, but a Singapore-based startup company has started processing food waste at a large scale by using the larva from black soldier flies. 

These maggots are the most efficient way to process large quantities of food and can easily consume four times their body weight each day.

But what’s most interesting about this idea is the high value of the output from this process.

Some of the products the company extracts are probiotics and chitosan, which are valuable products for the health and supplement industry.

But it gets even more interesting with melanin, which the semiconductor industry uses in electronic products.

Agriculture.com had an article that provided some analysis of the potential for this Singapore startup. 

“With the global market valued at $7 billion and expected to grow sharply, Insectta said it was seeking to expand the industrial applications for its high-grade chitosan to wound healing, filaments for organic 3D-printing and drug delivery agents.”

Insectta hopes to be scaling up its operations soon, which could become a guideline for better waste management on a global scale. 

Not only have they managed to transform a negative-value product, but they have done so in a way that produces a very valuable commodity. 


Chris is one of GreenCitizen’s writers who has been a long-time advocate of individual responsibility when it comes to the environment. He shares GreenCitizen's passion for making the world a better place every day of the year.


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