SEOUL — The confectionary wing of Lotte Group based in South Korea has invested 10 billion won in Aspire food Group, a Canada-based insect protein producer that manufactures a variety of food products made from crickets. Edible insects are emerging as sustainable food with abundant nutrients including protein and minerals.
Lotte Confectionary said its Investment was made in the form of fund investment. In November 2021, Lotte’s food research center partnered with Ynsect, an alternative protein research startup in France, to carry out joint research for the development of alternative protein sources with edible insects. Ynsect has commercialized a mass breeding smart factory of mealworms.
In London, Ontario, Aspire is building an insect protein manufacturing facility by applying automation and robotics, IoT and deep learning to sustainably farm crickets at scale and process them into a nutrient-rich protein alternative.
“Starting with this investment, we will seek various collaborations with Aspire food Group such as technology alliances and product development,” an unnamed Lotte Confectionery official said in a statement on March 10.
Edible insect species generate less environmental pollution than breeding cows and pigs. They are processed in food products such as snacks and bakery products after being raised as livestock in specialized insect farms from eggs to their mature form.
The market for edible insects in South Korea has seen a steady increase thanks to a government drive to promote insect farming. In July 2020, male honey bee (drone) larva was recognized as the ninth edible insect along with two types of silkworm larvae, locust, meal beetle larva, white-spotted flower chafer beetle larva, beetle larva, adult cricket and giant mealworm beetle larva.
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