Tell us about BioFlyTech project
Bioflytech is a Technology Based Company of the University of Alicante. Our company develops products and procedures related with the artificial rearing of insects. Bioflytech offers solutions from the Biotechnology to the growing demand of alternative proteins and effective pollinators. Our products are raw materials for feed, larval biomass for the pet market and alternative pollinators for greenhouse crops.
The main business line of Bioflytech is the sale of flies for different sectors: feed, agriculture and R&D. Our company also offers consulting in Research Projects related with artificial rearing of dipterans.
What’s your relationship with the Alicante University?
Most of Bioflytech’s partners come from the research group of the University of Alicante “Bionomics, Systematics and Applied Research in Insects”, lead by Dr. Santos Rojo. The research group has licensed the technology to Bioflytech and the University is a shareholder of the company.
Did you need any special authorization to start breeding edible insects in Spain?
No, it is the same authorization to livestock farming given by Department of Animal Health and Livestock Hygiene of The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
How many flies do you farm per year?
– Hermetia illucens: 30-50 mil
– Protophormia terraenovae: 30-50 mil
– Eristalinus aeneus: 500.000
What’s the most critical period during the insects’ growing cycle?
Eclosion of eggs and pupation.
What are the problems when mass-rearing insects in an artificial enviroment?
– The main problem is to obtain a continuous high production of eggs because the fitness of many species decreases with time.
– Some species are very sensitive to environmental changes so the conditions must remain very constant.
Is the energy bill your main cost?
Yes, energy and labour are the main costs.
What are products/services you’re marketing at the moment?
1.1. BioflyFeed: sale of dipterans for feed.
1.2. BioflyAgro: sale of dipterans as alternative pollinators.
1.3. BioflyLab: sale of dipterans under special conditions for laboratory assays.
2.1. Consulting and Technology transfer: Research and development of specific projects related with artificial rearing of dipterans.
What’s your main market (EU, Usa, others)?
Our products are sold mainly in Europe (Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK) and South America (Brazil, Colombia, Chile).
What’s the future of this industry? And the future of BioFlyTech?
Everything indicates that insects will have an important role in feeding livestock and probably also in feeding human beings. However, this industry will not consolidate until legislation related with their use will be defined and its expansion will be determined by the production capacity and demand.
Bioflytech is open to collaborate with other industry actors to improve the production process for farming Hermetia illucens, and in parallel, will continue the expansion of the line of alternative pollinators.
Do you think that EU Institutions are doing enough for this sector?
Yes, the recent report by the FDA and the inclusion of insects as novel food show the interest of EU in the development of this sector.