Many industries have found uses for black soldier flies, including farming and even pet food. Scientists in Turkey have just developed anti-aging and skin-moisturizing cosmetics from fly larvae. Furthermore, it is believed that oil extracted from black soldier fly larvae can contribute to the alleviation of the cosmetics industry’s raw material scarcity.

Rich in Protein and Oil, Antibacterial

A dermatologist named Emel Erdal Çalıkoğlu from Dokuz Eylül University in the western Turkish province of Izmir has developed anti-aging products using insect larvae as its foundation. She mentioned that larvae have “moisturizing” and “cleansing” qualities in addition to being rich in oil and protein, and that they are also quite antimicrobial. Additionally, it can be utilized to cure wounds, as pointed out by Çalıkoğlu.

With the help of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK), she and her spouse Dr. Tamer Çalıkoğlu established a company at a university technology park. She gathered fruit and vegetables to feed the flies, and then she would harvest oil from their larvae. She went on to say that flies’ droppings make great fertilizer and animal feed.

New Raw Materials for the Cosmetic Industry

According to Çalıkoğlu, the cosmetics business has long been dealing with the issue of raw materials, which is causing environmental pollution and significant carbon emissions. “We began searching for a sustainable raw material that is not harmful to the environment,” she told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Friday.

She created an ideal breeding environment for black soldier flies on her little farm. The larvae are fed once they have been collected. Adhering to a diet that is appropriate for them is crucial. The only organic trash we give them allows us to get high-quality oils and food from the larvae, she says.

She points out that black soldier fly oil contains the environmentally damaging saturated fatty acid lauric acid, which comes from coconut and palm oil. Black soldier fly oil is highly prized because it contains lauric acid at a level that is on par with other expensive oils. Breast milk is a common source of lauric acid as well. According to her, black soldier fly oil also has linoleic acid and palmitic acid.

Black Soldier Fly Oil Used to Make Soap

According to Çalıkoğlu, the company has been successful thus far with its pilot product, which consisted of soaps, lotions, and creams made from the oil. While fly oil can be sold for 75 euros per liter, equivalent black soldier fly oil can sell for up to 500 euros ($529.27) per liter globally, she noted, mentioning the cheap production costs. For our nation, it’s a win-win. For one, it helps process organic waste, which means we won’t have to rely on imports. Secondly, making it improves the environment. Companies from France, Azerbaijan, and other nations have shown a lot of interest in us,” she noted.

Black soldier fly life cycle

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