Maggot robots will be the key to unlocking food waste management with insects | Fight Food Waste CRC
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Maggot robots will be the key to unlocking food waste management with insects 

The Black Soldier fly (Hermetia Illucens) is a common and widespread fly of the family Stratiomyidae. But did you know it can help to reduce food waste?

Australian start-up Goterra and researchers from the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at the University of Queensland have launched a new project with the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) that will help companies in the retail and hospitality sector to reduce their food waste.

Goterra Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Olympia Yarger, said that most of Australia’s 7 million tonnes of waste come from post consumer waste streams and most of it is going to landfill.

“There are a few solutions in the market today that can reduce or recycle food waste. But what we lack is the infrastructure to access these waste streams at the source so we can empower a circular economy.”, she said.

“Our infrastructure utilises Black Soldier flies and can be located as close to the source as possible. This means our technology can service the kinds of food wastes that are currently considered too difficult or too contaminated to manage. This project will demonstrate the safe and effective use of BSF to manage all food waste streams, as well as defining appropriate and safe uses of the resulting insect protein products.”

Fight Food Waste CRC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Steven Lapidge, said that receiving food waste from diverse sources can create unique challenges due to potential contaminants in the food waste.

‘These challenges need to be identified and qualified so the industry can meaningfully unlock downstream supply chains.’ he said

“This Fight Food Waste CRC TRANSFORM Program research project, starts with a scan to identify any aspects of regulation, policy or standards that will inform the use standards that need to be met to utilise insects, fed on food waste, in the Australian food and agricultural supply chain.”

This research project aims to create a meaningful foundation for the ongoing development and advancement of the insect protein industry, particularly its governance. This project will deliver:

● a comprehensive risk assessment of food waste handling, insect consumption, and insect protein processing to livestock feed.

●  a comprehensive stakeholder analysis, engagement and education to ensure that relevant members of the supply chain and regulatory institutions see value in enabling an insect protein industry.

●  a roadmap for successful integration of research with existing policy to reduce regulatory barriers.

●  the establishment of processing requirements for insect protein to meet standards for feed safety.


The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre launched in July 2018, and brings together industry, research and the community to capitalise on Australia’s food waste opportunities. Winning this fight can save Australia $20 billion per annum in wasted food. Through its three research and development programs, the Fight Food Waste CRC will ENGAGE with industry and consumers to REDUCE food waste across the supply chain and TRANSFORM unavoidable waste into innovative products.

The Fight Food Waste CRC is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources as part of the CRC Program that supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community.

For further information please visit the Fight Food Waste CRC or Goterra websites. Interviews with Olympia Yarger (Goterra) can be arranged through Bob Gordon, Head of Growth 0434 736 965 or Interviews with Dr Steven Lapidge (Fight Food Waste CRC) can be arranged on 0401 990 367 or