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Animals 2019, 9(3), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9030115

Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens) as Dietary Source for Laying Quails: Live Performance, and Egg Physico-Chemical Quality, Sensory Profile and Storage Stability

1
Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, University of Padova, Agripolis, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy
2
Department of Animal Sciences and Aquatic Ecology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Gent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
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Simple Summary

The search for alternative and sustainable protein sources in poultry production is an issue of major importance due to the increasing demand of products of animal origin and, consequently, of feedstuffs to feed food-producing animals. The latter is exacerbating the overexploitation of natural resources, thus increasing the environmental impact of animal farming, as well as the prices of raw materials. In this sense, insects have been indicated as one of the possible alternatives to solve this problem, thus research efforts to test the feasibility of a practical application to the poultry sector are required. Therefore, the present study tested different inclusion levels of a defatted black soldier fly larvae protein meal in the diets for laying quails as an alternative ingredient to the soybean meal and oil. Results of the present study showed that the insect meal can technically be applied to laying quails’ feed formulations, providing optimal performance and health status. Egg nutritional quality and sensory profile too did not worsen when quails were fed with the insect meal supplementation. Further research efforts should be performed to improve the healthiness of the lipid fraction of the tested insect larvae and, in turn, the lipid quality of the eggs obtained from insect-fed quails.

Abstract

Insects are promising candidates as alternative sustainable sources of protein for poultry species. The present research studied the effect of a dietary inclusion of a defatted black soldier fly (BSF) larvae meal as an alternative protein source in the diets of laying quails, on productive performance, egg physicochemical quality, fatty acid profile, sensory traits and storage stability. A total of 225 laying quails were divided into 3 dietary groups (5 replicates/each). A conventional soybean meal-based diet was formulated (Control group), and two other diets were formulated including either 10% (BSF10) or 15% (BSF15) defatted BSF larvae meal. Laying quails showed satisfactory productive performance throughout the trial. BSF10 and BSF15 eggs had the highest shape index (p < 0.01), shell weight and percentage (p < 0.001) and the most intense yolk color (p < 0.001). Defatted BSF larvae meal increased the eggs’ saturated fatty acid content (p < 0.001) to the detriment of the polyunsaturated fraction (p < 0.001). Overall the eggs’ sensory profile was not affected by the dietary treatment, but BSF15 eggs had a higher feed off-flavor vs Control group (p < 0.05). At day 28 of storage, oxidative stability was higher in BSF10 vs. Control eggs (p < 0.01). Defatted BSF larvae meal can be considered a possible alternative ingredient to soybean meal in laying quail diets, up to the 15% inclusion level. View Full-Text
Keywords: black soldier fly; insect meal; alternative protein; animal feeding; quail; egg quality; nutritional composition; fatty acid profile; oxidation black soldier fly; insect meal; alternative protein; animal feeding; quail; egg quality; nutritional composition; fatty acid profile; oxidation
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Dalle Zotte, A.; Singh, Y.; Michiels, J.; Cullere, M. Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens) as Dietary Source for Laying Quails: Live Performance, and Egg Physico-Chemical Quality, Sensory Profile and Storage Stability. Animals 2019, 9, 115.

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