Award-winning Black Soldier Fly Factory in Cape Town Makes Brewing Beer in SA Good for our Planet and Pets

Statement by Dean Smorenburg, CEO at Maltento

Dominic Malan (Commercial Director at Maltento) & Dean Smorenburg (CEO)

Maltento is transforming South Africa’s recycling landscape by breeding Black Soldier Flies to convert agro-processing waste, including spent grains from the beer industry, into high-performance, nutrient-dense proteins, and oils for pet and aquaculture feed.

Based in Cape Town, the Maltento team offers a true testament to the quality of South Africa’s highly skilled scientists and engineers, leading sustainability practices, and world-renowned innovation in the insect biotechnology space.

After winning the Startup Club ZA award in November last year, and having recently secured a substantial R12 million grant from the German Development Bank, Maltento is carving its path as a key player in South Africa’s sustainable agriculture landscape.

Spent brewers’ grain is ingested by fly larvae at the Maltento Fly Farm, enriching their natural ability to produce functional proteins, healthy fats, and essential amino acids. Beyond protein, soldier fly larvae also produce frass, a by-product (excrement of the spent brewery grains) with substantial nutritional value.

Black Soldier Flies at Maltento

Frass serves as a composted soil amendment product, enhancing soil fertility, building plant immunology,  promoting nutrient cycling, and improving soil structure.

“Frass can be used in a closed-loop system for fields where brewery grains are cultivated, creating a sustainable cycle that regenerates the soil and contributes to healthy grain growth. This closed-loop system is free of heavy metals and pesticides. Our factory currently diverts approximately 400,000 kg of agro-processing waste and byproducts every month, and we project that we’ll reach up to 600,000 kg per month by year-end” shares the new Maltento COO, Jaysen Golding. Golding recently joined the team and remains focused on keeping the business’s foundation strong and primed for growth to scale operations.

This exciting development not only revolutionizes the pet food and beer industries but also positions South African scientists as global leaders in agro-processing and sustainability practices within the beer industry. In short, Maltento can officially confirm that brewing beer in South Africa is good for our pets and the planet.

With a team of 65 employees at the 7000 m2 factory in Cape Town, Maltento has successfully produced 75 metric tonnes of product since its operations began and aims to reach a whopping 100 metric tonnes by June 2024.

To make this a reality, Maltento is calling on all large-scale breweries across the country to align with its vision for improved agricultural practices within the beer sector by joining them in making the industry more sustainable.