LITHUANIA – The Swiss technology conglomerate, Bühler, has been chosen to oversee the construction of the inaugural commercial-scale yellow mealworm production facility for Lithuanian insect producer, Divaks. 

Scheduled to commence operations in 2025, this cutting-edge plant, situated within Lithuania’s Marijampolė Free Economic Zone, is poised to yield up to 15,000 metric tons of sustainable insect-derived products on an annual basis. 

Bühler is tasked with the comprehensive planning and execution of the facility, encompassing solutions for the entire supply chain.  

 “Bühler will take charge of the entire process technology, ranging from feedstock preparation, ensuring the provision of safe, delectable, and nourishing sustenance for the larvae, to the implementation of a state-of-the-art, fully automated larvae growth system featuring advanced climate control,” read a statement from Bühler. 

 Moreover, Bühler will be instrumental in establishing the processing line, transforming the harvested larvae into textured insect proteins (TIP), insect protein concentrates (IPC), and other specialized food ingredients. 

 Within this state-of-the-art plant, Divaks will focus on the production of yellow mealworms, scientifically identified as Tenebrio molitor, which have been officially sanctioned as safe for human consumption by the European Commission. 

 These mealworms are lauded for their eco-friendly attributes, serving as a highly nutritious protein source applicable in various sectors, including meat substitutes, sports nutrition, snacks, confectionery, and premium pet food. 

The byproduct stemming from mealworm production, commonly referred to as insect frass, will be repurposed as organic fertilizer, contributing to healthier soils and promoting a circular economy approach. 

 Research underscores the growing necessity for sustainable protein sources to meet the demands of an ever-expanding global population. 

 CEO and Co-Founder of Divaks, Kęstutis Lipnickas, asserts, “Edible insects play a pivotal role as we transition toward a more resilient and sustainable food system.  

Our new facility empowers food brands to delve into this rapidly growing, high-potential sector, offering premium-quality protein ingredients for top-tier food products.” 

 Established in 2020, Divaks is now on the cusp of concluding its Series A funding round. 

 A significant portion of its EUR 67 million target has already been secured, yet the company remains receptive to new investors.