Around the world, an estimated 30% of food produced is lost or wasted. This equals approximately 1.4 BILLION tons a year, with an annual cost estimated to be $990 billion. These losses represent a waste of land, energy, water, input resources, and leads to unnecessary methane and CO2 emissions.
At the same time, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.9 billion by 2050. Consequently, we must develop alternative methods of protein production to meet the increased demand for food. In comes nutrient recycling. By upcycling food that is typically wasted, we can create additional protein, providing sustainable solutions for two major problems facing the state of our planet.
Our End Products
Bioko recycles the food waste into three sustainable products, MagMeal®, MagOil®, and Nutrient Rich Fertilizer.
MagMeal®, a high quality natural protein, provides a balanced, sustainable source of amino acids for aquaculture feed, animal feed, and pet food manufacturing, and is an alternative to fishmeal.
MagOil®, an insect oil, is separated from the protein, and can be used in aquaculture feed, animal feed, and pet food manufacturing, replacing canola oil and fish oil. Due to its high energy and medium-chain fatty acids, such as Lauric acid which has proven anti-microbial properties, the insect oil is also considered a more sustainable replacement to palm oil.
Nutrient Rich Fertilizer
This fertilizer is the frass that is left over after the insects have fed. This frass is a nutrient-rich organic material that can be used in composting and other fertilizer applications.
The Life-Cycle of Hermetia illucens
Hermetia illucens, better known as the black soldier fly (BSF), is a common species of fly originally native to the southern States of the USA, including California, but is now found all around the world. They are a non-pest and non-disease carrying species and are the backbone of Bioko’s process.
The eggs laid by the female flies are carefully stored in an incubation chamber, maintained at the perfect environment to safeguard their development. Once ready, the juvenile larvae hatch out of the eggs and are smaller than half a grain of sand.
The newly hatched larvae are quickly placed on a specially blended nursery diet, to make sure that they get the best start to life. Over the next few days, they grow over 100 times in weight, and are ready to continue their journey.
3. Grow Out
The larvae are then put onto a prepared substrate (diet), made from recovered retail food, restaurant food waste, and food processing waste, that has been processed to ensure it is feed-grade and suitable for the larvae. These larvae then spend the next several days feeding on the substrate and converting it into valuable insect biomass.
4. Harvesting & Processing
Most of the larvae are harvested and go through our proprietary manufacturing system, with MagSoil™ being separated from the larvae before they are processed into MagMeal® and MagOil®.
5. Breeder Maintenance
A small portion of the larvae go on to complete their life cycle in order to maintain the breeding colony of flies, ensuring there is always enough eggs and larvae for the process. This is achieved by allowing the larvae to feed until they have developed into prepupae, a different stage of development where the insect is searching for a safe place to pupate.
6. Pupation & Maturation
The prepupae are separated from the frass and given time to develop into pupae. The pupae, like a butterfly’s cocoon, are where the larvae mature and go through metamorphosis into an adult fly. These adult flies eclose from the pupae and start the whole cycle again.
The adult stage of the black soldier fly does not eat, so they conserve energy by not flying a lot. Contrary to popular belief, they do have mouthparts (albeit reduced in size), which can only consume liquids such as water or flower nectar. The adult male and female flies’ mate, then a few days later, the female lays her eggs into a specially designed egg grid.