French startup Ynsect works with Lotte subsidiary to develop alternative protein sources with edible insects

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : November 19, 2021, 13:20 Updated : November 19, 2021, 13:41

[Courtesy of Lotte R&D Center]

SEOUL -- French startup Ynsect partnered with a food research center of South Korea's retail giant Lotte to carry out joint research for the development of alternative protein sources with edible insects which are emerging as sustainable food with abundant nutrients including protein and minerals.

Edible insect species generate less environmental pollution than breeding cows and pigs. They are processed in food products such as snacks and bakery products after being raised as livestock in specialized insect farms from eggs to their mature form.

Ynsect, which is the world's first alternative protein research startup that commercialized a mass breeding smart factory of mealworms, signed a letter of intent with the Lotte R&D Center. The French startup is building breeding factories in Europe and the United States to supply protein sources using various edible insects.

Edible insect species consumed globally include butterflies and moths, beetles, ants, bees and wasps, grasshoppers and crickets. In Western markets, insect food producers focus on four species suitable for human consumption as well as industrialized mass production, including house cricket, European migratory locust, mealworms and Lesser mealworms.

The market for edible insects in South Korea has seen a steady increase thanks to a government drive to promote insect farming. In July 2020, male honey bee (drone) larva was recognized as the ninth edible insect along with two types of silkworm larvae, locust, meal beetle larva, white-spotted flower chafer beetle larva, beetle larva, adult cricket and giant mealworm beetle larva.
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