Considering the impact of food production systems on the environment, a profound change is now required in the exploitation and management of natural resources and their use, with a view to the circular economy.
Among the waste products of an insect farm, insect feces (commonly known as "frass") they represent one of the main outputs of the production process, with quantities 40% higher than the primary production of animal biomass.
Nutrinsect, in collaboration with universities and experts in the agricultural sector, is today investigating the use of waste products from cricket production, for innovative applications in the agri-tech sector.
Research and development
Studies conducted by Nutrinsect have shown that cricket frass can be used as a fertilizer for agriculture, being rich in nitrogen, an often limiting element in agricultural land. The use of frass, in addition to enriching the soil, contributes to increasing leaf growth, the tolerance of plants to conditions of abiotic stress (for example exposure to cold or excessively hot temperatures) and to the attack of pathogens and weeds. . The use of insect frass as fertilizer therefore represents a natural alternative to the use of traditional agrochemicals, and its application would increase the sustainability of the agricultural sector while reducing its impact on the environment. Other scraps of cricket production are represented by its legs and wings, removed during the transformation of the insect into a finished product. This by-product, rich in organic matter, is mainly made up of chitin, a natural biopolymer similar to cellulose. Chitin has medical uses as a dietary supplement to boost immunity, lower cholesterol, support weight loss, and control blood pressure. Chitosan, a derivative of chitin, can also be used to make biodegradable plastics and paper.
Nutrinsect, in collaboration with research institutions, is investigating the applications of cricket chitin in the nutraceutical and pharmacology sector. For an increasingly green future.