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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Insectta: A Shining Example In Managing Food Wastage

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Insectta is a start-up company in Singapore. Chua Kai-Ning & Phua Jun Wei started the company in the year 2017. The modern world has a lot of problems to deal with. Wastage of food is right at the top. Singapore experiences a lot of food wastage every year. Wasted food amounted to 665,000 metric tonnes in the last year. Only a small percentage(19%) of the food could be recycled. Chua & Wei took it upon themselves to battle the crisis of food. 

The duo has explained the motto of their business. Chua stated that the business was based on the pillar of a no wastage policy. They wanted to ensure that all the foods are being utilized and nothing is wasted. The business channels wasted foods as a resource. The main component of the business is insects. A lot of industries have switched to insect-based agricultural products recently. Insecta also uses a large number of insects and tries to derive the most out of them. The couple expects to contribute their fair share in the rapidly popularizing insect-based productions. 

InsecttaUses Maggots For Producing Fertilizers 

The start-up company of Chua & Wei has a unique way of business operations. The company mainly focuses on producing good quality fertilizers for agricultural concerns. The company uses black soldier fly larvae for this production. Chua stated that the flies are fed with wasted foods. These foods weigh up to 8 tonnes. Byproducts like spent grain & okara are also fed to the insects. These byproducts are obtained from the breweries and soybean factories. The insects are then flash dried and fed to the animals. The company uses its excretion to produce high-quality fertilizers for the plants. 

A lot of companies have recently started productions based on insects. Agriprotein, Better Origin & Goterra are using insects to reduce the number of wasted foods. However, Insectta also produces high-quality biomaterials. The byproducts received from the maggots are put to use as well. 

Read: Insect Animal Feed Could Fend Off Deforestation

Insectta derives a chunk of its fundings from Trendlines Agrifood Fund. The government also provides monetary assistance to the company. An interview conducted by CNN Business saw Chua enlighten further. As the research and development process was underway, they realized there were valuable biomaterials up for grabs. Chua quickly took up the idea and started extracting them from the maggots. These biomaterials are said to have a very high market price. 

Insectta: A Visionary Leap

The company is surely miles ahead in terms of thinking. With proper execution of plans, the company could well become a role model in the future. Let us look into some of its methods and techniques of operation. The soldier files are the predominantly used flies. A cocoon is formed by the maggots as they grow bigger. The soldier flies come out fully developed in fourteen days. The company manages to extract biomaterial from the cocoon. 

A very important biomaterial is chitosan. It is obtained from the cocoon of the soldier flies. Chitosan is rich in antioxidants and is commonly used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. The company targets a chitosan production of 500kg each day. Insectta is currently in talks with Spa Esprit Group for using their chitosan. Spa Esprit Group is a company based in Singapore which specializes in moisturizers. 

Read: Organic Farming: Nature’s Pathway To Producing Food

Insectta looks to break the stigma about insects. They are trying to preach the advantages of rearing insects as a sustainable and profitable source. Phua stated that raising insects requires less energy, space, and water as compared to livestock. Currently, chitosan is obtained mainly from crab shells. Insectta owners also finalized with Vi-Mask for using chitosan from soldier flies in their products. Vi-Mask has reportedly agreed on the deal.




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