Special Issue "Edible Insects—Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security"

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Kerry Wilkinson

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, PMB 1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: analytical chemistry; flavor chemistry; entomophagy; sensory science; consumer research
Guest Editor
Dr. Heather Bray

School of Humanities, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: public understanding of science; sociology of food and eating; agricultural ethics; science communication; social media

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Collectively, climate change, the increasing global population, and scarcity of agricultural land present serious challenges to both food and feed security. As a consequence, there is growing interest in insects as alternate sources of protein. Insects already form part of the traditional diet in many developing countries throughout Africa, South America and Asia, but elsewhere, the consumption of insects is less prevalent and often only occurs as a novelty. This Special Issue will include original research articles and reviews concerning insects as food and feed: From harvesting or farming insects, and the nutritional composition and/or sensory appeal of insects or insect-based foods, to the prevalence of allergies associated with entomophagy, and the economic and environmental benefits of insect utilization.

Assoc. Prof. Kerry Wilkinson
Dr. Heather Bray
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • entomophagy
  • edible insects
  • food security
  • feedstocks
  • nutrition

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Diet Protein and Carbohydrate on Select Life-History Traits of The Black Soldier Fly Hermetia illucens (L.) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae)
Insects 2017, 8(2), 56; doi:10.3390/insects8020056
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 18 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
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Abstract
This study examined the impact of diet protein and carbohydrate percentages as well as moisture on the immature development, survivorship, and resulting adult longevity and egg production of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (L.) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae). Moisture impacted development and corresponding life-history
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This study examined the impact of diet protein and carbohydrate percentages as well as moisture on the immature development, survivorship, and resulting adult longevity and egg production of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (L.) (Diptera: Stratiomyidae). Moisture impacted development and corresponding life-history traits more than protein:carbohydrate content; larvae were unable to develop on diets at 40% moisture. Larvae fed diets at 70% moisture developed faster, grew larger, and required less food than those reared on diets at 55% moisture. Larvae reared on the balanced diet (21% protein:21% carbohydrate) at 70% moisture developed the fastest on the least amount of food and had the greatest survivorship to the prepupal stage. Adult emergence and longevity were similar across treatments, indicating immature life-history traits were impacted the most. The control (Gainesville house fly) diet was superior to the artificial diets for all parameters tested. These differences could indicate that other constituents (e.g., associated microbes) serve a role in black soldier fly development. These data are valuable for industrialization of this insect as a “green” technology for recycling organic waste, which can be highly variable, to produce protein for use as feed in the livestock, poultry, and aquaculture industries, as well as for bioenergy production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible Insects—Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security)
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Open AccessArticle Microbiological Load of Edible Insects Found in Belgium
Insects 2017, 8(1), 12; doi:10.3390/insects8010012
Received: 10 October 2016 / Revised: 27 December 2016 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 13 January 2017
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Abstract
Edible insects are gaining more and more attention as a sustainable source of animal protein for food and feed in the future. In Belgium, some insect products can be found on the market, and consumers are sourcing fresh insects from fishing stores or
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Edible insects are gaining more and more attention as a sustainable source of animal protein for food and feed in the future. In Belgium, some insect products can be found on the market, and consumers are sourcing fresh insects from fishing stores or towards traditional markets to find exotic insects that are illegal and not sanitarily controlled. From this perspective, this study aims to characterize the microbial load of edible insects found in Belgium (i.e., fresh mealworms and house crickets from European farms and smoked termites and caterpillars from a traditional Congolese market) and to evaluate the efficiency of different processing methods (blanching for all species and freeze-drying and sterilization for European species) in reducing microorganism counts. All untreated insect samples had a total aerobic count higher than the limit for fresh minced meat (6.7 log cfu/g). Nevertheless, a species-dependent blanching step has led to a reduction of the total aerobic count under this limit, except for one caterpillar species. Freeze-drying and sterilization treatments on European species were also effective in reducing the total aerobic count. Yeast and mold counts for untreated insects were above the Good Manufacturing Practice limits for raw meat, but all treatments attained a reduction of these microorganisms under this limit. These results confirmed that fresh insects, but also smoked insects from non-European trades, need a cooking step (at least composed of a first blanching step) before consumption. Therefore, blanching timing for each studied insect species is proposed and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible Insects—Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security)

Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Ecosystem Services from Edible Insects in Agricultural Systems: A Review
Insects 2017, 8(1), 24; doi:10.3390/insects8010024
Received: 15 October 2016 / Revised: 13 January 2017 / Accepted: 27 January 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
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Abstract
Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the
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Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the additional harvest and ecology of accompanying food insects. Yet such insects provide many valuable ecosystem services, and their sustainable management could be crucial to ensuring future food security. This review considers the multiple ecosystem services provided by edible insects in existing agricultural systems worldwide. Directly and indirectly, edible insects contribute to all four categories of ecosystem services as outlined by the Millennium Ecosystem Services definition: provisioning, regulating, maintaining, and cultural services. They are also responsible for ecosystem disservices, most notably significant crop damage. We argue that it is crucial for decision-makers to evaluate the costs and benefits of the presence of food insects in agricultural systems. We recommend that a key priority for further research is the quantification of the economic and environmental contribution of services and disservices from edible insects in agricultural systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Edible Insects—Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security)
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