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Fighting food waste with the soldier fly

The biotech start-up NutriFly produces high-quality proteins, fats and fertilizers from insects. Founder Franco Bargetze uses the black soldier fly for this purpose.

Contribution from Lebensmittel-Technologie

More than 85 percent of the crude protein required by Swiss livestock today comes from abroad. In particular, soy from overseas is used as concentrated feed for ruminants, pigs and poultry. Fishmeal from bycatch in industrial fisheries is used as complete feed for fish and shrimp aquaculture. This feed import has devastating effects on global ecosystems and climate. Another challenge lies in the steadily accumulating foodwaste. In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, more than 1.5 million tons of food waste are generated annually from processing and agriculture, representing 55 percent of the total losses of all actors in the food chain. A value-adding use of these side streams is not always given.

Use of side streams

Franco Bargetze is the founder of the biotech start-up NutriFly GmbH, based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. The company produces high-quality proteins, fats and fertilizers from insects. In the future, they also want to produce self-developed, ready-formulated products for livestock and pets. The local production of feed from foodwaste for animal nutrition offers an ecologically sound and sustainable alternative. With the help of the Black Soldier Fly (BSF), high-quality raw materials for animal and pet nutrition are produced from by-products of the food industry. This upcycling takes place under controlled conditions in the pilot plant of the young company. BSF are extremely resistant to diseases and also cannot transmit diseases. There is no risk of plague. Another advantage is that these insects can be bred fully automatically on a very small footprint in an energy-efficient way, with comparatively low CO2 emissions.

The maggots of black soldier flies, feed is made from them.

Ideal pet food

The advantages of using BSF larvae lie in their balanced amino acid profile, the optimal digestibility of the protein and the high proportion of lauric acid in the fat of the insects, which has antibacterial and antiviral effects. In addition, all products are hypoallergenic. The fertilizer has a very high content of organic matter and, due to its chitin content, is excellent as a slow-release fertilizer and reinforces the natural defenses of plants. NutriFly’s vision is to build a sustainable, regional and integral circular economy by avoiding foodwaste and improving the carbon footprint of food production. This will significantly increase the supply of feed protein from Swiss raw materials. To this end, we are looking for interested parties from among the users of our products for their further development and additional applications. In order to be able to produce these sustainable products on a large scale, we are still looking for partners in the food and feed industry who want to recycle their by-products such as waste from vegetable production, surpluses or dairy by-products in a sustainable way. On our new website you can find more details about our company. There you will also find a contact form. NutriFly GmbH is looking forward to hearing from you.

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