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This startup turns waste into biomaterials with insects

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

Insectta is the first urban insect farm in Singapore, pioneering the extraction of valuable biomaterials using the Black Soldier Fly. The farm was co-founded by Chua Kai-Ning in 2018, a graduate from the National University of Singapore. The insect not only makes excellent fertiliser, feed for livestock, but can also turn food waste into materials for use in the bioelectronics, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics industry.


A Black Soldier Fly
A Black Soldier Fly. Image from Insectta's Facebook page.

The farm leverages on co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Phua Jun Wei's background in life sciences to farm, process, and extract biomaterials from the insect.


Food waste such as byproducts from soyabean factories and breweries are fed to the Black Soldier Fly larvae, and their pupae shells are then harvested for biomaterials, chitosan and melanin, using proprietary extraction processes developed by their R&D team.


Acknowledging the importance of sustainability, Insectta's approach to harvesting quality resources sees a reduction in unnecessary waste during the process.


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