With the increase of the fishmeal and soybean prices over the last decade, insect proteins have become a focus of research into novel alternative livestock feed ingredients. While several insect species have been investigated, the Black Soldier Fly (BSF; Hermetia illucens) remains one of the most credible options.
The larvae have a high nutritional value; contingent on the substrate they were bred on, with crude protein levels ranging from 28 to 48 percent, and lipid levels from 12 to 42 percent. With the exception of omega-3 fatty acid, the lipid profile is broadly similar to fish meal and the potential exists to augment fatty acid through the use of appropriate feeds e.g. fish-offal. The essential amino acid profile of the insect meal meets the broad requirements of tilapias simplifying dietary formulation requirements.
What are the Benefits of Feeding Insect Larvae to Livestock?
- Larvae convert wastage biomass into protein and compost, creating a cycle of sustainability).
- The life cycle of certain insects can be easily controlled, which is favourable for commercial production.
- Mass production of insects requires less surface area than crops to produce the same amount of protein, whilst reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.
- Animals species, such as fish and poultry, are naturally prepared to eat insects.
- They have high levels of protein, essential amino acids, energy, and micronutrients.
- Their protein content is normally above 30%.
- The protein is of high biological value, with a high concentration in lysine, threonine, and methionine.
- Larvae are rich in lauric acid, which has shown to improve gut health and have immunomodulating effects.
Advantages of Life BSF Maggots as Feed
- This alternative fish feed costs 30 percent lower, making fish farming for human consumption more viable.
- Company uses the black soldier flies (BSF) because their maggots contain more protein, fat, and micro-nutrients than normal houseflies, and are easily dried and stored.