With food waste and insects, Bengaluru biotech startup develops alternative protein

Almost every minute of Ankit Alok Bagaria and Abhi Gawri’s leisure time at IIT-Roorkee went into understanding how food waste can be valuable. Their enthusiasm, driven by their interest in social entrepreneurship, had developed after they were introduced to the concept of ‘upcycling’ during one of their final year projects.

“We came across the concept of an insect-based product market which had already gained traction in the West. Insects are made to feed on food waste/reject, which makes them rich in protein, fats, and nutrients, that are then extracted and used as an alternate protein in animal feed and pet food, concentrates, enzymes, and so on,” says Ankit.

This concept of turning food waste into a valuable resource and bringing it back into the food chain or the ‘food loop’, led to the inception of Loopworm in 2019.

This Bengaluru-based biotechnology startup has developed a flagship vertical and indoor-based smart insect breeding, production, and processing technology to produce sustainable Black Soldier Fly (BSF) larvae-based proteins and fats. The food waste sourced from processing industries or manufacturers is first converted into high-quality feedstock (via thermal, chemical, and biological pre-treatment), and fed to these insects. The accumulated healthy protein and fat are then extracted from these insects and used in different products.

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