Rungtip Malasithiwong (below) is the CEO & co-founder of Protanica, a fascinating young company which manufactures high-protein cricket powder. By way of introduction, Khun Rungtip, a Bangkok native, used to work as the business development manager for Stone Lotus with John Stevens & Derek van Pelt and Stone Lotus is an angel investor in the company. With a Master’s Degree from Chulalongkorn University in International Business Management, Rungtip used to work in a laboratory where she learned about systems certification and food testing, noticing chemical residue & traces of heavy metals. hatching a dream to improve our food chain. The name Protanica comes from “protein” and the polite Thai female response to a question, “ka”, hence Protanica – Rungtip’s three partners are women. The company’s factory and farm are in Samut Sakorn, just outside of Bangkok.

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Khun Rungtip tells us that Protanica offers alternative high protein sources. which are friendly to the environment and sustainable. The company’s aim is to utilize fewer natural resources with optimal cost and zero waste. Its challenge is to raise the standard of the edible insect industry by using advanced technology.

Protanica is a Thai SME, which manufactures and exports high-quality cricket protein powder from Acheta domesticus (house crickets) to Canadian, American and EU business operators with minimal lead time guided by strict food safety standards

The company supports Thai agricultural communities via contract farming under Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) standards and by ensuring all its producers are audited to the Protanica supplier standards.

Protanica’s cricket protein powder is both environmentally friendly and sustainable because cricket farms use far less land, water and feed than other proteins and while producing a fraction of the greenhouse gases.

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Cricket protein powder has nearly limitless applications in replacing traditional sources of protein in the food supply chain. It consumes a fraction of the natural resources required by other proteins. And Protanica has created a powder providing protein at a reasonable price. It has a clean taste and smell. Because of the impressive environmental benefits, versatility and the tremendous nutritional value of crickets, cricket powder is truly a sustainable food of the future.

Protanica is determined to produce products that are both highly nutritious and environmentally friendly. Its focus is on research and development in order to produce the highest quality product. It is the FIRST cricket powder manufacturer in Thailand to be certified as GMP by the Department of Livestock Development. It also adheres to the standards of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) as well as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).

The company emphasises quality, hygiene and safety, including making cricket protein powders with a fresh small and delicious taste. When adding Protanica cricket powder to your ingredient supply chain you enrich your product making it more nutritious, aromatic and delicious. Cricket protein is a highly nutritious food source that is rich in amino acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats (similar to those found in olive oil & salmon), probiotics, magnesium, a perfect balance of Omega 3 as well as calcium and iron. a nutritious, aromatic and delicious ingredient for every recipe.

Protanica cricket protein powder can be used as a healthy ingredient in unlimited recipes such as cakes, cookies, macaroni, pizza, and cereal bars. It can be mixed with protein drinks and yogurt. By replacing some of the flour content in your recipe and replacing it with cricket powder, you will increase the protein content, decrease the carbohydrate content, and increase satiety in the consumption of your finished goods.

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Protanica cricket protein powder can be used as an ingredient for animal feed providing an alternative source of high protein, essential amino acids and probiotics for livestock, fish and pet food. And Protanica cricket oil can be used in the cosmetic industry as a sustainable substitute for coconut, palm and mink oils. Protanica cricket protein powder can be used as a healthy ingredient in any recipe.

The company’s mission statement is: "To achieve the highest standards in food safety while manufacturing the high nutritious protein with zero waste while providing minimal lead time and efficiency of supply to our global customers."

One problem that Khun Rungtip and her colleagues face is overcoming the "yuck" factor of eating insects. You have probably seen street vendors selling insects like cockroaches and beetles near entertainment plazas in Thailand. Passersby are usually curious or revulsed. Runtip says it’s important to not judge a book by its cover, and reminds us that there was some skepticism when people started eating sushi.

Entomophagy is the technical term for eating insects. Humans have harvested the eggs, larvae, pupae and adults of certain insect species from forests or other suitable habitats to eat for thousands of years. Nowadays, there are over 2,000 edible insect species that are regularly consumed worldwide. Those on a vegan or vegetarian diet could consider crickets as another alternative source of protein.

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Most scientists agree that crickets do not feel pain or experience the world in a way that would be familiar to us, and this serves to ease the minds of those who refrain from consuming meat out of concern for animal welfare. The crickets are fed rice bran, corn meal and soybeans and harvested near the end of their natural lifespan in a humane way by putting them into a sleep at below-zero temperatures (similar to shrimp farming).

Runtgip and her team are also working on a new manufacture technique called hydrolysate, which will help those suffering from hypertension and diabetes.

Protanica’s crickets are raised in contracted farms in Thailand with GAP (Good Agricultural Practice), accreditation to control the quality standard from farm to finished product. Research, development and production are all carried out in a special laboratory in order to produce the finest cricket protein powder. Protanica has a world class “Supplier Audit Program” for every contracted farm in its “Protanica Approved Vendor List” to ensure consistent quality.

Customers can find Protanica’s products available for purchase at their online shop @protanica, which includes platforms like Facebook, Shopee, Lazada, Lines, and the official Protanica website (https://www.protanica.com).

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