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Maltento’s eco-revolution in SA’s beer industry

A South African company is turning brewing waste into nutritious food for pets and aquaculture…..

“It’s a miracle of science, it truly is!” said respected business journo, Bruce Whitfield, commenting on the process used by Cape Town’s Maltento to convert brewing waste into food for animals, just one of its applications.

The Maltento insect ‘farm’ that started as a fledgling home operation in Johannesburg about seven years ago, has grown into a full-scale business based in Cape Town.

The company breeds black soldier flies with the purpose of converting agro-processing waste into nutrient-dense proteins and oils, for pet and aquaculture. This waste includes spent grains from the beer industry.

Primedia’s Bruce Whitfield got the lowdown from Dean Smorenburg, founder and CEO of Maltento

“Basically what we do is take the spent brewery grains – effectively the barley that’s left over after all the sugars have been extracted by the brewing which of course goes to make the delicious beer we all drink, which is 75% moisture… and mix that with some other nutrients… We feed that to the larvae, and within ten days they grow to sort of a mature size, said Smorenburg.

“Spent brewers’ grain is ingested by fly larvae at the Maltento Fly Farm, enriching their natural ability to produce functional proteins, healthy fats, and essential amino acids. Our factory currently diverts approximately 400,000 kg of agro-processing waste and byproducts every month, and we project that we’ll reach up to 600,000 kg per month by year-end.”

These larvae are harvested and end up delivering three products for Maltento. The first is the dried insects themselves. Smorenburg says these are mainly exported to the chicken food market in the US, where chickens are the third biggest pet market behind cats and dogs.

“We also make a giant smoothie out of the product, which actually really is a flavour and aroma which goes into your traditional pet food, like for cats and dogs, and that’s mainly in South Africa at the moment.,” he added.

“The third product is the by-product of the insect… so once they’ve eaten that spent grain there’s the excrement and whatever’s not digested by them, which we call frass. That gets turned into a soil amendment which goes back into crop farming.”

As the business scales up, they’re also aiming to build larger-scale facilities in Africa.

For more detail, listen to the interview by clicking on the link below…

Source: Primedia+