LOCATION: Rhode Island, USA

SUMMARY: Kulisha works with food and beverage companies to convert organic waste byproducts into protein input made from insects for use in animal feeds. We’ve developed a biological system that uses microbial communities and black soldier fly larvae to metabolize waste, cutting disposal costs and offering a sustainable alternative to fishmeal.

PROBLEM SPACE: “Food and beverage companies such as breweries, dairy producers, and fruit and vegetable processors generate huge amounts of organic waste byproducts in their everyday operations. This organic waste is typically trucked to the landfill, and the disposal is very costly, comprising of up to 10% of a company’s operational cost. We address these companies needs to reduce costs while greening their practices and boosting their corporate social responsibility.

In addition, the demand for fishmeal for use in animal feeds is driving the destruction of the world’s oceans. Over one-third of global fish catch is ground into meal and is the primary protein source for poultry, fish, and swine feed. Recognizing that meat consumption is increasing worldwide, Kulisha addresses the need for a more sustainable protein input for animal feeds while using nutrients that would otherwise go to waste.”

SOLUTION: “We address these two key problems the underutilization of organic waste and the unsustainable production of fishmeal with a single solution. We’re developing a system that uses organic waste from food and beverage processing plants as an input to grow insects, providing an alternative to traditional, expensive disposal methods. We produce an insect-based alternative protein from the very insects, called black soldier fly larvae (BSFL), that consume the organic waste. The BSFL are sold to feed millers as a protein input for animal feeds, providing a sustainable, high quality alternative to fishmeal and transforming the way we think about waste and produce food.

The crux of our system lies in the refinery, a retrofitted shipping container installed adjacent to food and beverage plants (henceforth referred to as “the refinery”) that will house our black soldier fly rearing system. The waste is pretreated using a microbial community that breaks down recalcitrant compounds lignin and celluloseminto easily digestible carbohydrates and proteins. We license the system to food and beverage companies, retain access to the harvested larvae and transport them to a centralized post-processing facility, after which they are sold to animal feed millers or feed cooperatives.”

CONTACT: [email protected]