Chitosan is a naturally-occurring polysaccharide that is abundant in nature, and has been used for human health in various forms. Its biocompatibility and wide range of attractive properties have led to its use in cosmetics, personal care products, wound care products, and health supplements. Much research is underway for its use as antimicrobial food packaging and drug delivery carriers.
Purification of chitosan to remove impurities such as ash, heavy metals and proteins is a critical step. This is because the purity level of chitosan is an important factor which affects not only the biological properties such as biodegradability, but also its solubility and stability. Chitosan and its precursor, chitin, are typically derived from crustacean shells, which contain large amounts of toxic heavy metals and will need to be removed via expensive treatments, increasing the cost of high purity chitosan.
The company has developed proprietary technologies to extract chitosan from black soldier flies. The chitosan produced is virtually free of toxic heavy metals, has superior physical and chemical characteristics, and its chemical properties can be tuned according to specific requirements. The chitosan is also sustainably produced, as the black soldier flies are grown on food waste, which would otherwise contribute to global environmental challenges. With marine resources dwindling and climate change causing unpredictable yields, sustainably produced chitosan contributes to economic circularity.
Chitosan derived from black soldier flies have the following properties:
Chitosan has been shown to offer diverse functional properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, wound healing, hydrating, chelating and LDL cholesterol-lowering effects. Potential product applications for chitosan derived from black soldier fly includes (but not limited to):