Insect Biotechnology

(utilizing insects to produce practical substances)

Insect Biotech Co., Ltd. is a bio-venture company founded in April 2000 by researchers at Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB)

Insects and their related microorganisms are the most diversified species on Earth. Insect Biotech was established with a view to utilizing them as useful resources in diverse industries and has been in the business of producing and marketing industrial enzymes, microbial insecticides, insect genes, and other useful substances from insects.

The product of pride, Arazyme, is a high efficiency proteolytic enzyme which is used for various animal feed additives (Power-cell, One-Q swine, One-Q poultry), specialized cosmetics (BAL, Heel2Toe, Spapia), leather processing (Acron), cleaning detergents, and food processing.

Aranicola Proteolyticus, meaning "protease-producing microorganisms from a spider", is the first case in the world reporting those microorganisms separated from a spider. A powerful protease produced by these microorganisms was named Arazyme, of which Ara was borrowed from Arachnidae meaning a "spider" in Latin and zyme from enzyme meaning "ferment".

Insect Biotech is striving to become a worldwide leader in the area of enzymes and other biotechnology products by diversifying its industrial enzymes and marketing the environmental-friendly microbial insecticides, and other useful substances from insects.

A natural activity may hold valuable applications for humanity

A predator spider will approach a fly, and stick its needle into the victim to inject its liquid while the fly is caught in the web and struggling to get free. The liquid contains a strong anesthetic making the victim immobile while its ‘digestives’ melt the victim’s internal organs into jelly. All that remains is for the spider to consume the innards of the fly.

Besides the digestive fluid secreted from a spider’s body, the research team examined whether or not there is any digestive fluid produced by commensal microorganisms living in the spider’s digestive organ similar to the intestinal species in the human body. They found various kinds of microorganisms inside a spider’s body, took out those that were producing the most powerful protease and named them Aranicola Proteolyticus.

Numerous kinds of proteases were already reported around the world, and several multi-national corporations occupied most of markets across the world, but enzyme with such a feature has never been reported.

Arazyme can be used in various fields. First of all, it can be fed to livestock as a disease preventive or a growth accelerant thanks to its powerful anti-bacterial and antibiotic effects. It can be used to peel off horny tissues from human faces, feet, and body instead of pharmaceutical products since it has an excellent horny tissue decomposition effect by its protein decomposition function.

It is also used as a drug melting waste leather to prevent environmental pollution in leather processing factories. In addition, it can be used in detergents, which are effective in tap water, cold water, and seawater; and in cleaning agents for fine chemical processes, as well as in the processing of foods; such as, sausage.

The interests of other countries in the utilization of insects is gradually increasing in both industrial and economical aspects; as well as, in the preservation of biological diversity after the 1992 Rio Environmental Conference. The competition between countries for understanding and using insects with a rich diversity is daily intensifying. Accordingly, studies to evaluate the importance of insects and using them is increasing.

Numerous insects including vegetable worms mushrooms grown in dead insects, pest chrysochroa fulgidissima, dead silkworms, grubs, leeches, centipedes, scorpions, and spiders are all being processed to improve the welfare of humans.

—Excerpts from Insect Biotech Co., Ltd.
and partially revised for greater clarity.