February 7, 2012

Organic Nutrition is a new firm being funded by private equity.  Their concept is to take food waste and grow fly larvae in it.  The larvae have nutritional value, potentially making them a commercial fish food. 

A KP-6 being rented by Organic Nutrition is being used to dewater the garbage in which the larvae grow.  They also have a VS-8 shredder which is used to reduce the particle size of that garbage.

Last year the client flew to Tampa, bringing two 5 gallon pails of Black Soldier Fly larvae.  These were brought as checked luggage.  It is a option to remember for transporting samples.

The purpose of our experiments with the CP-4 was to see if, with steam injection, we could separate the lipids (fat).  Apparently the larvae have too much fat.

The larvae went through the press very well.  It looked like we were squeezing all the juice from inside the bugs through the screen.  The cake being produced was mostly the outer skin of the larvae, which is chitin.  We got about 70% by weight press liquor at 28 rpm, 20 psi cone pressure, with strong steam injection, using a tapered shaft screw in the press. 

We had two buckets, one with larvae that had been killed by freezing, and one with live critters.  The live ones could not move fast enough to get out of the press, but they would have gotten off the tray in the moisture balance oven.  (So we froze them in order to get a moisture analysis.)

The as-received larvae were about 78% moisture, and there were 13% solids in the press liquor.  The press cake was interesting:  with very low cone pressure and low steam, the press cake came out 73% moisture.  But with 20 psi cone pressure and heavy steam, the moisture content of the press cake dropped to 63%.

To see the testing in a YouTube video, go to


Issue 242