Bioconversion of agri-food waste and by-products through insects: a new valorization opportunity

Giulia Leni, Augusta Caligiani, Stefano Sforza

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


The complete valorization of wastes and by-products to new valuable commodities requires innovative, “out-of-the-box” technologies, also including biological technologies, which must be at the same time economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable. Inside this scenario, insects have been gaining a lot of momentum as a promising biotechnological solution for exploiting residual biomasses. The diversity of these residual biomasses constitutes a technological problem for processing, and insects may represent a possible biotechnological solution. Several insect species naturally develop on organic wastes and, via the incorporation of the nutrients into their bodies, can be used to reduce the amount of waste material, while at the same time generating a more homogeneous and more valuable biomass. As a matter of fact, insects are a good source of useful compounds, being rich in protein, fat, chitin, and micronutrients. These biomolecules can be used for different purposes (e.g., for feed/food ingredients, cosmetics, pharma, bioplastics, and others), actually upgrading the value of the starting waste. In this chapter the possibility to use insects as bioagents in the agro-food by-products management will be explored, outlining their potential role in a circular economy system.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteValorization of Agri-Food Wastes and By-Products
Numero di pagine20
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Circular economy
  • bioconversion
  • insects
  • waste reduction


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