Alpha Chitin was born from the association of 2 complementary know-how, the one developed by Philippe around the Hermetia Illucens larvae and the industrialization and chemical engineering skills developed by Jerome..
Philippe has spent nearly 4 years in Asia and France with some local partners to develop and acquire the technical data to maximize the conditions for rearing Hermetia Illucens larvae. All the possible diets were investigated (waste, cereals, palm cakes, various slurry, multiple types of manure, etc.), many operating conditions were tested. These tests would have been impossible in Europe because of the costs involved and the European legislation which does not allow most of the diets tested.
Jerome developed a chemical process for extracting chitin adapted to the characteristics of the HI larva, and to the specific diet developed to maximize the production of chitin during the growth of the larva. This process is simpler than the existing processes, compatible with the highest grades of
purity sought, with a smaller environmental footprint. This process, which is unique in the world, has proven by its characteristics to be usable on other input sources such as Krill and partially on mushrooms for the production of specific chitosans.
They joined forces with Philippe’s return from Asia and developed an integrated process for the reproduction and growth of larvae at with very high throughput, and a process for extracting and refining specific chitin / chitosan. Although the integrated process is compatible with the various expected uses of theHI larvae (transformation of organic waste, slurry removal, production of protein insect meal for animal feed), it quickly became clear that the only viable process economically in the long term in Europe is the production of high purity chitosan, from an alternative source to shrimp, traceable and with reproducible quality, according to a fully certified and auditable cycle.
The know-how acquired on larvae, around chitin as a resource and its interactions with the other elements of a bioresource, has enabled Alpha Chitin to develop integrated production processes around other bioresources: krill and fungi. Alpha Chitin, with a similar approach to the one it has with the larvae, maintains total control over the production quality of its bioresource, which is the key to the nearly total repeatability of the chitosans obtained.
Beyond the chemistries used, Alpha Chitin has developed machines and their specific operating parameters to offer its customers a very wide range of chitosan specifications. Its processes meet all customer needs around the use of chitosans, from industrial application to medical integration.
The goal of the Alpha Chitin project is to supply strong global demand with 3 different sources of chitosans meeting the expectations of the most demanding customers and to provide sustainable solutions of quality, repeatability and volume supply of chitosans in medical / pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and environmental sectors.
Alpha Chitin defines itself as a company in the bio-sourced chemistry sector, where the resource is produced naturally and the purification of the molecule is made chemically.