Vitamin Applied sciences Opens Insect Protein Manufacturing unit in Malaysia


Press release: Nutrition Technologies

Singapore-based agri-food technology company Nutrition Technologies opens its first industrial-scale insect protein factory in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, Malaysia. Nutrition Technologies has been using black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) since 2014 to convert substandard food waste and organic by-products into proteins and oils as a sustainable alternative to fishmeal, a common ingredient in animal feed. The new factory went into operation in December 2020 and is now increasing its production.

“When our new plant is fully functional, 16,000 tons of insect products will be produced each year. [12,000t of insect frass, 3000t of insect meal and 1000t of insect oils]. This will divert 80,000 tons of waste per year from landfills and save tens of thousands of pelagic fish in the oceans by providing a substitute for fishmeal, ”said Nick Piggott, Co-CEO and Co-Founder.

The global supply of fishmeal has stagnated in recent years. Coupled with the increasing demand for livestock and seafood, the animal feed industry is facing a significant deficit in high quality proteins. The insect protein sector has gained increasing attention in recent years. Almost $ 1 billion has been invested in this sector to date. Last year it is estimated that only 10,000 tons of insect meal were produced by all companies worldwide. However, this is expected to increase in the years to come as more factories go online.

Nutrition Technologies’ new facility is the result of five years of research and development and technological development. Their vertical insect production system is optimized for the tropical conditions in Southeast Asia and uses bespoke automated equipment and Industry 4.0 principles to ensure strict biosafety and high quality standards. As a zero waste facility, Nutrition Technologies aims to ensure that the facility is carbon negative at full capacity. “Nutrition Technologies strives to deliver sustainable products that meet the stringent requirements of the animal feed market, are affordable and environmentally friendly.” said Co-CEO and Co-Founder Tom Berry.

Nutrition Technologies products offer a number of beneficial effects on animal health and performance. These are tailored to the needs of the animal feed industry and support the necessary growth in fish and poultry production to support the growing world population.

“Our customers are looking for natural ways to reduce antibiotics and efficiently promote animal health. The unique fatty acid profile of the Black Soldier Fly Larvae and bioactive compounds such as antimicrobial peptides play a key role in solving these problems. “Said CTO Martin Zorrilla.

On February 26th, Nutrition Technologies completed a recent Hera Capital-led $ 5 million financing round supported by existing investors, Openspace Ventures and SEEDS Capital (the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore). This will be used to fund new R&D projects as well as to prepare the company for entering new markets in Southeast Asia.

“We are very excited to be working with Nutrition Technologies to support their growth. Commercial insect production is one of the major innovations of the last decade, with the potential to disrupt the animal feed sector and solve several problems the world is currently facing. “Said Sebastien Guillaud, managing partner of Hera Capital.

“Nutrition Technologies has a great team led by dedicated and capable founders. Despite the COVID-19 challenges, they were able to build their new factory and keep innovating. “Said Hian Goh, founding partner of Openspace Ventures.

“The insect protein industry offers significant potential and opportunity, as well as a more sustainable alternative to animal feed. We look forward to continuing our support for nutritional technologies as they enter their next phase of growth. “Said Geoffrey Yeo, General Manager of SEEDS Capital. Nutrition Technologies has raised a total of $ 14 million to date.

Nutrition Technologies plans to raise its Series B funding in the third quarter later this year. This round will be used to increase production capacity tenfold to meet current pipeline needs. They want to expand production in Malaysia and at the same time build new industrial plants in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. As the company will continue to focus on research and development, a research and development center will be established in Singapore, which will serve as an anchor for the company to drive innovation and connect with industrial partners and investors.

This expansion will increase Nutrition Technologies’ positive environmental impact by upcycling more than 500,000 tons of waste per year. This goes a long way towards improving the health of the oceans and provides more than 600 jobs in low-income areas in the region.

“We are motivated by the positive environmental and social effects we are getting from our insect protein crops.” said COO Charlie Carter.

“We want to be the world leader in the insect sector. Over the next 10 years we plan to build a large network of insect farms in the region that will supply a new high quality insect meal to support the growth of aquaculture and animal production in Asia, ”said Berry.