regional soap made from larvae fat

Sci-Fe is a solid hand soap made from larval fat, lye and other regionally interlinked components as well as a fragrance.
The project outlines the possibility of realising regional and sustainable products by connecting existing structures:
The black soldier fly is bred regionally as a raw material supplier for protein flour. The fat of the larvae is a by-product of this process. As it has a similar composition to palm or coconut fat, it represents a regional alternative to these. It is also used to produce a synthetic fragrance that smells of citrus fruits. Another by-product of larval protein production is chitin. If the bioplastic chitosan is produced from this, caustic soda is produced. This is also used in soap.

student:Johanna Schmidtke

The Insect Project
– Resilience Part I

At a time when many people make sure to source their vegetables and other foods locally or buy fairly produced clothing, the origin and composition of other everyday products, such as soap, often go unnoticed. In most cases, attention is paid to “vegan” or “palm oil-free”, if at all. If palm oil is avoided, manufacturers usually use coconut oil instead, which is grown under similarly controversial conditions. This raises the question of how sustainable and ethical the alternatives really are.
Another shortcoming in the transparency of cosmetic products is the secrecy surrounding the ingredients of perfumes. While these fragrances often consist of 30-40 different components, the exact compositions are not stated on the packaging – to promote the competitiveness of manufacturers and protect against counterfeiting. However, many of the ingredients come from very far away or have fossil origins. The lack of transparency can be frustrating.
In this context, insects could be a promising solution for the future and sustainable use of resources. Even in this country, the black soldier fly is already being bred as a source of protein for animal feed. Larval fat is a by-product of the production process. As it has a surprisingly similar composition to palm or coconut fat, it is considered a regional alternative.
Using solid hand soap, the project sheds light on the potential of recycling industrial by-products to create an authentic regional product. It not only raises questions about the direct ingredients, but also about their origin and context.

There are currently many research projects in connection with the black soldier fly. For example, the molting remains of the larvae consist of chitin, from which the biopolymer chitosan is produced by deacetylation. The caustic soda used for this is then a waste material that can easily be used for the production of soap.
The larval fat serves as a raw material for the synthetic fragrance C12, which is normally produced from crude oil. It is often used for perfuming cosmetics, including soap. The smell is reminiscent of citrus fruits and moss.
In addition to larval fat and caustic soda, soap requires other oils that have a cleansing and nourishing effect. Rapeseed and hemp are used for this purpose. These are native oil plants that are fertilized with the excrement of the larvae. The organic waste produced after extracting the oils is fed to the larvae, thus creating a cycle.
Furthermore, beeswax is added to the soap for stability and domestic silk residues for suppleness.
Insects and factory farming still cause disgust in the western world. The question is whether this can be overlooked due to global and ecological challenges.