Meat Quality and Sensory Traits of Finisher Broiler Chickens Fed with Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens L.) Larvae Fat as Alternative Fat Source
Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, University of Padova, Agripolis, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy
Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Turin, Largo Paolo Braccini 2, 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy
Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Turin, Largo Paolo Braccini 2, 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy
Institute of Science of Food Production, National Research Council, Largo Paolo Braccini 2, 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 March 2019
Revised: 20 March 2019
Accepted: 27 March 2019
Published: 2 April 2019
Insects represent a promising feed ingredient for poultry diets, as an alternative to the conventional feedstuffs. Once the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens; HI) larvae are collected, they are processed to obtain two main products: the protein and the fat fractions. Currently, the possible utilization of the fat fraction in poultry diets has only partly been investigated, providing encouraging results in terms of chickens’ performance, health status, intestinal morphology and histological features. However, its effect on meat quality, which is extremely important from the consumer’s point of view, has scarcely been investigated yet. Therefore, the present research studied the effect of 0%, 50% and 100% dietary replacement of soybean oil with HI larvae fat on the quality and sensory characteristics of chicken meat. Overall results were comparable among the three dietary groups, suggesting that HI larvae fat can be considered a promising sustainable ingredient for poultry diets which can feasibly be used for feed formulations. However, the fat composition of the larvae is sub-optimal for providing healthy meat for the modern consumer. For this reason, further research to solve this drawback is needed.