SFly’s industrial project has for aim to build an industry based on mass production with high throughput of insects (Hermetia illucens for our first plant) in order to manufacture chitin & chitosan through a low impact extraction process. Chitin & chitosan are key products, with virtually no production in Europe. Most of the production comes from various places in Asia, and is issued from shrimp and crab shells. With manufacturing sites having limited capacities and a demand that is expected to triple within 10 years, chitin & chitosan are a product with a great future, with most of the potential applications that are yet to be discovered.

world market of chitin chitosan
Strong growth of the worldwide demand for chitin - chitosan

Worldwide demand for chitin in 2015 was above 60.000 T. Worldwide production of chitin the same year was around 28.000 T. Worldwide market for chitin derivatives (including chitosans) should reach 63 Billions USD by 2024, following a report from Global Industry Analysts Inc. (chitin and chitosan derivatives market report – 2015). Applications for chitosan include water purification and waste water treatment, food and beverages, cosmetics, bioplastics, pharmaceutical, agrochemistry and many others, known and unknown.

A biopolymer with multiple applications

Overall uses of chitosan in water purification and waste water treatment have the lead amongst potential applications, with about 30% market share by 2015. Rapid industrialization within BRICS along with a population more and more concentrated in city areas has taken the need for potable water and adapted waste treatments to becoming a basic need. Chitosan acts as a coagulant for both organic and inorganic matters present in water. Its purifying effect is also used by dosing it prior to filters when purifying water. It is also a very good chelating agent for heavy metals present in industrial waters. Owing to its full biodegradability, non toxic and natural origin, and owing to the growing needs in water treatment and water purification, chitosan market share in this application is expected to grow significantly with the 10 years to come. Other growing factors are coming from agriculture, agrochemistry and health/pharmaceutical industries. Demand in biomedical and pharmacology should increase by 17% by 2024. Chitosan is an active part of multiple patents for its use in fighting tumors in cancerology (as a carrier or as a vector), vaccines, but also fighting against obesity and cholesterol. And these 17% only take into account the known applications of chitosan. In cosmetics, chitosan can be used as a natural substitute for Hyaluronic acid, widely used in anti-aging formulations. Recent anti-aging formulations are switching Hyaluronic acid to chitosans. These components are part of formulations for skin care, moisturizing creams, lipsticks, lotions and some packaging as well… Apart from skin care, they are also used in hair conditioning and buccal care. They have the ability to form a protective film, with a good physical resistance and elasticity high enough to bring softness and longevity to long hair. As an overall remark, growing sensitivity of consumers worldwide to better looking physically will help strengthen chitosan market growth.


• Manufacture of artificial skin
• Fiber for biodegradable sutures
• Dietary supplement (promotes the absorption of proteins)
• Substrate for the immobilization of microbial cells or enzymes
• Fungicide Fertilizer Membranes for dialysis
• Pesticide Mobility Controller
• Paper manufacturing
• Fortifying fiber for papermaking
• Textile fiber (increases tissue affinity for some pigments)
• Manufacture of vibrator for acoustic loudspeakers
• Support for drug controlled release
• Dietary supplement (promotes the absorption of proteins)
• Cholesterol-lowering agent
• Hemostatic agent (promotes coagulation)
• Textile fiber Fungicidal and bactericidal for food preservation and seed coating
• Clarifying agent Substrate for the immobilization of microbial cells or enzymes
• Fertilizer
• Flocculating agent for water treatment
• Contact lens manufacturing
• Ingredient for hair and dermatological products
• Optical waveguide
* Non exhaustive list

Black soldier fly chitine/chitosan SFly
Shrimp shell, main source of chitin for the world

There are multiple chitin extraction facilities installed over the last 20 years, mainly located in Asia-Pacific and Japanese areas, working on a raw material made of transformed shrimps and crabs, where their shells are recovered. Preparation, extraction, purification and deacetylation methods have been industrialized and adapted to these sites and types of sources (Anshar Patria, Department of Agricultural Product Technology, Indonesia 2013). There are therefore numerous technical benchmarks, and some financial benchmarks possible too, when it comes to sizing, building and operating such facilities.

SFly, a sustainable, fully traceable, lower impact answer to producing chitosan


SFLY manufactures normalized products issued from Hermetia Illucens larvaes, and offers a sustainable and fully traceable alternative to production of chitin / chitosan from shrimp and crab shells. Our high quality / high value products can be used for industrial, environmental, cosmetics and pharmaceutical purposes and markets. Worldwide demand for this material is rapidly growing as potential new applications are discovered virtually every day. By 2016 its overall demand was close to 3 times worldwide production capacities.