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Animals 2019, 9(4), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040140

Meat Quality and Sensory Traits of Finisher Broiler Chickens Fed with Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens L.) Larvae Fat as Alternative Fat Source

1
Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, University of Padova, Agripolis, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy
2
Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Turin, Largo Paolo Braccini 2, 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy
3
Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Turin, Largo Paolo Braccini 2, 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy
4
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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
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Simple Summary

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.

Abstract

At present, there is limited knowledge about the possible utilization of the fat fraction derived from Hermetia illucens (HI) larvae processing. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the replacement of soybean oil with HI larvae fat in broiler finisher diet, on the quality and sensory traits of their meat. At 21 days of age, 120 male broiler chickens were randomly allocated to three experimental groups (5 replicates and 8 birds/pen): a basal control diet (C), and two groups in which either 50% or 100% of the soybean oil was replaced with HI larvae fat (the HI50 and HI100 group, respectively). At day 48, 15 birds (3 birds/pen) per group were slaughtered, and breasts and legs were excised and used for meat quality evaluations. Breast and leg physical meat quality, nutritional composition and sensory profile remained substantially unaffected by the dietary treatments. In contrast, the dietary incorporation of HI larvae fat modified the fatty acid (FA) profile of both the breast and leg meat cuts: the proportion of saturated fatty acids increased (p < 0.0001) to the detriment of the polyunsaturated (PUFA) fraction (p < 0.0001). Moreover, the meat n-6/n-3 ratio increased in the HI50 and HI100 groups compared to the C group. HI larvae fat dietary inclusion decreased the monounsaturated fatty acids in the breast (p = 0.0012) but not in the leg meat. Further research should focus on the improvement of the FA profile of the larvae through substrate modulation, or by combining HI larvae with a PUFA-rich feedstuff in feed formulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hermetia illucens; animal feed; alternative feed source; sustainability; dietary fat source; broiler chickens; meat quality; fatty acids; sensory traits Hermetia illucens; animal feed; alternative feed source; sustainability; dietary fat source; broiler chickens; meat quality; fatty acids; sensory traits
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Cullere, M.; Schiavone, A.; Dabbou, S.; Gasco, L.; Dalle Zotte, A. Meat Quality and Sensory Traits of Finisher Broiler Chickens Fed with Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens L.) Larvae Fat as Alternative Fat Source. Animals 2019, 9, 140.

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