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The Effects of Diet Formulation on the Yield, Proximate Composition, and Fatty Acid Profile of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens L.) Prepupae Intended for Animal Feed

1
Department of Agriculture and Forest Sciences, University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
2
Department of Agricultural Forest and Food Sciences, University of Torino, 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(4), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9040178
Received: 23 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects: Alternative Protein Source for Animal Feed)
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Simple Summary

Mass rearing of the black soldier fly to be used as feed is still at an early stage. Among the different issues, larval feeding and nutrition of this species are the most relevant ones from a practical standpoint. For example, testing four different diets, we found that this insect can be efficiently reared on wheat byproducts in place of cornmeal and that using diets richer in carbohydrates or proteins can negatively affect protein accumulation, larval development, and survivorship. Accumulation of unsaturated fats in black soldier fly prepupae is a matter of great interest, and it was found to be directly dependent on the amount of these fats in the rearing substrates. By appropriately mixing different food byproducts as diet ingredients, our research suggests that black soldier fly prepupae meal suitable for the feed formulation can be obtained.

Abstract

The black soldier fly (BSF; Hermetia illucens L.) is a very promising insect species due to the ability to convert low-value substrates in highly nutrient feed. This work aimed to study the effect of three nominally isoenergetic diets containing plant ingredients such as barley, alfalfa, and wheat byproducts, formulated to be higher in nonfiber carbohydrates (TMD1), fibers (TMD2), and protein (TMD3) in comparison to an extensively genetic modified cereal (cornmeal)-based diet (C), on the growth, yield, and nutritive traits of BSF prepupae (BSFPs). Three growing trials with four biological replicates were carried out. Proximate and fatty acid analyses were performed on the diets and BSFPs. Feed conversion ratios (FCR), dry matter and nutrient yields, and apparent concentration factors (aBCF) for fatty acids (FAs) were calculated. Diet formulation had a substantial effect on the survival, development rate, and larval yield, but the FCR was unaffected. The BSFPs fed TMD3 did not result in a higher crude protein content in comparison to the C or TMD2 diets. Despite the leveled fat content of the diets, BSFPs reared on TMD1 were highest in fat, saturated FA, and fat yield. An apparent bioconcentration factor (aBCF) value lower than unity that was found for the unsaturated FA suggests that the BSFPs inefficiently absorb them from the diet or possibly turn them into saturated FA. However, the unsaturated FA accumulation in BSFPs depended on the levels that were found in the diet, which suggested some possibilities for the FA profile modulation. Overall, the TMD2 performed well despite the low-value of its main ingredients and high fiber content and can be considered to be a feasible option for the mass rearing of BSFPs that are intended for animal feed. View Full-Text
Keywords: low-value feedstocks; cereal byproducts; growth performance; diet optimization; insects for feed; fatty acid apparent concentration factor low-value feedstocks; cereal byproducts; growth performance; diet optimization; insects for feed; fatty acid apparent concentration factor
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Danieli, P.P.; Lussiana, C.; Gasco, L.; Amici, A.; Ronchi, B. The Effects of Diet Formulation on the Yield, Proximate Composition, and Fatty Acid Profile of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens L.) Prepupae Intended for Animal Feed. Animals 2019, 9, 178.

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