site.btaNasekomo Transforms Black Soldier Fly into Nutritional Protein and Fertilizer
Bulgarian biotech company Nasekomo, which Tuesday entered a long-term partnership with the Siemens Group in Dubai as part of COP28, has turned the metabolism of the fly known as the black soldier into a technology for waste-free food production.
Maria Alexandrova, who is in charge of innovation projects at the company, told BTA that in a team of 65 people, 20 are involved with development work. All products are developed with the participation of Bulgarian universities and farmers, she said.
Established in 2017, Nasekomo develops technologies for the insect bioconversion industry, which is expected to be a major factor in feeding the world's growing population. The company has already proceeded to build its first plant.
The Hermetia Illucens fly, commonly known as the black soldier fly, is one of the insect species that are considered safe for humans because they do not carry disease, Alexandrova said. It can be used to process and increase the value of low-value products such as agricultural waste. Currently, in Europe, it is allowed to work with plant-based products - secondary raw materials and residual products from agriculture, breweries, mills, processing industries, Alexandrova explained. The fly feeds on this waste and processes it into protein, and it itself becomes animal food for fish, pigs, farm birds and pets, she added.
"The protein produced in this way is very sustainable. If we compare it to the feedstocks at the moment, which are mostly soy protein and fish protein, we use about 14 times less water and 150 times less land in our production," Alexandrova said.
The task of the specialists at Nasekomo is to create excellent conditions for the fly larva to live well. Nasekomo also specialises in fly genetics. Specialists study its strongest genes, assessing how to raise a more resistant and adapted offspring. Another application of the biotech company's product is fertilizer from the fly, which is an organic product and great for fertilizing soils.
Nasekomo's customers are companies such as Heineken, Cargill and Nestlé, Alexandrova said. The protein itself is widely sold in Europe and then our customers are farmers, feed companies and fertiliser producers. The company has decided to sell the technology in the future so that it can be applied in more and more places in Europe and Bulgaria.
For the development of the company,
Digitalization is needed for the development of the company. It will help to track the process of application of the technology by individual customers, and for the new entrepreneurial idea of the team - the creation of an aggregator, a kind of marketplace, for the protein obtained from the black soldier fly. "We are very proud that Siemens Group stood behind this concept," Alexandrova said.