Topical Collection "Insects as Animal Feed: a New Promising Sector"

A topical collection in Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This collection belongs to the section "Animal Nutrition".

Editor

Prof. Laura Gasco
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA), University of Turin, Turin, Italy
Interests: aquaculture; rabbit and poultry breeding; alternative protein sources; insects as feed; fish, rabbit and poultry nutrition; animal product quality
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the increasing world population expected by 2050, and the shift towards the consumption of more animal products, the quest for alternative and sustainable nutrient sources for animal feed is of paramount importance.

Over the last few years, it has been shown that insects could represent a valuable solution: They are rich in nutrients (proteins, fat, and energy) but also contain interesting biocompounds (chitin, antimicrobial peptides, and fatty acids) able to stimulate the immune system or to modulate animal microbiota and, subsequently, to optimize animal growth and health.

Moreover, following the principle of Circular Economy, some insect species are able to be grown on low value organic substrates, leading to valuable products that find applications not only in feed but also in industry or biomedical fields.

Studies performed so far in livestock nutrition using insect-derived products show promising results, but as industry interest grows, further information is needed to fully assess the potential of these innovative ingredients. In particular, further research is needed on the complete nutritional value of insects (e.g., real insect protein content and digestibility values, vitamin and mineral contents), on how insect nutritional value can be manipulated through rearing systems and insect diets, on the effects on animal products’ quality, and consumer acceptance.

Original manuscripts that address any aspects of live insects, insect-based meals, fat or other derived products (chitin, antimicrobial peptides, etc.) in animal feed are welcome.

Topics of this Topical Collection on the importance of insects as feed therefore include:

  • Insect breeding on organic substrates
  • Biotic and abiotic factors affecting the growth of insects for feed purposes
  • Optimal inclusion levels in animal diets
  • Insect meal digestibility
  • Impact of insects on animal product quality
  • Effect of insect biocompounds on animal health and immune response
  • Consumer perception and acceptance of insects in animal feeds

Prof. Laura Gasco
Collection Editor

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Keywords

  • Live insects
  • Insect derived products
  • Alternative protein source
  • Animal feed
  • Insect meal digestibility
  • Meat quality
  • Carcass characteristics
  • Consumer perception
  • Insect rearing substrates

Published Papers (5 papers)

2020

Jump to: 2019

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Could Dietary Black Soldier Fly Meal Inclusion Affect the Liver and Intestinal Histological Traits and the Oxidative Stress Biomarkers of Siberian Sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) Juveniles?
Animals 2020, 10(1), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10010155 - 16 Jan 2020
Abstract
The trial investigates if a highly defatted Hermetia illucens larva meal (H) at two dietary inclusion levels and a vegetable protein based diet (VEG) influences the normal gut and liver histology and the oxidative stress biomarkers in liver and kidney of Siberian sturgeon [...] Read more.
The trial investigates if a highly defatted Hermetia illucens larva meal (H) at two dietary inclusion levels and a vegetable protein based diet (VEG) influences the normal gut and liver histology and the oxidative stress biomarkers in liver and kidney of Siberian sturgeon juveniles. Fish were fed four diets: one control diet (H0) containing 70% of fishmeal (FM), two diets including 18.5% (H185) and 37.5% (H375) of highly defatted H in substitution for 25% and 50% of FM, and one vegetable protein based diet (VEG). At the end of a growth trial, 12 fish per treatment were sacrificed by over-anaesthesia to collect 12 liver and 5 distal intestine samples for histological analyses, as well as 12 liver and kidney samples for biochemical analyses. The H and VEG diets did not significantly affect the histology of liver and distal intestine, but alterations of the oxidative stress biomarkers were detected at the highest inclusion level of H (37.5%). In order to avoid unfavorable effects on the fish health, an inclusion level up to 18.5% of H is recommended for Siberian sturgeon juveniles. Full article
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2019

Jump to: 2020

Open AccessArticle
Tenebrio molitor and Zophobas morio Full-Fat Meals in Broiler Chicken Diets: Effects on Nutrients Digestibility, Digestive Enzyme Activities, and Cecal Microbiome
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1128; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121128 - 12 Dec 2019
Abstract
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of insect full-fat meals added in relatively small amounts to a complete diet on the coefficients of apparent ileal digestibility, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations, bacterial enzymes, and the microbiota community in the cecal digesta [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of insect full-fat meals added in relatively small amounts to a complete diet on the coefficients of apparent ileal digestibility, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations, bacterial enzymes, and the microbiota community in the cecal digesta of broiler chickens. In total, 600 one-day-old female Ross 308 broiler chicks were randomly assigned to six dietary treatments with 10 replicate pens/treatment and 10 birds/pen. The groups consisted of a negative control (NC) with no additives; a positive control (PC; salinomycin 60 ppm), and supplementation with 0.2% or 0.3% Tenebrio molitor or Zophobas morio full-fat meals. Z. morio (0.2%) addition increased the activities of α- and β-glucosidase and α-galactosidase. Dietary insects significantly decreased the cecal counts of the Bacteroides–Prevotella cluster in comparison to those in the NC and PC. Whereas, Clostridium perfringens counts were increased in the broiler chickens subjected to the 0.3% Z. morio treatment. In conclusion, small amounts of full-fat insect meals added to broiler diets were capable of reducing the abundance of potentially pathogenic bacteria, such as the Bacteroides–Prevotella cluster and Clostridium perfringens. In addition, this supplementation was able to stimulate the GIT microbiome to produce enzymes, especially glycolytic enzymes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Dietary Replacement of Fishmeal by Insect Meal on Growth Performance, Blood Profiles and Economics of Growing Pigs in Kenya
Animals 2019, 9(10), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100705 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Pig production is one of the fastest growing livestock sectors. Development of this sector is hampered by rapidly increasing costs of fishmeal (FM), which is a common protein source in animal feeds. Here, we explored the potential of substituting FM with black soldier [...] Read more.
Pig production is one of the fastest growing livestock sectors. Development of this sector is hampered by rapidly increasing costs of fishmeal (FM), which is a common protein source in animal feeds. Here, we explored the potential of substituting FM with black soldier fly larval meal (BSFLM) on growth and blood parameters of pigs as well as economic aspects. At weaning, 40 hybrid pigs, i.e., crossbreeds of purebred Large White and Landrace were randomly assigned to five iso-nitrogenous and iso-energetic dietary treatments: Control (0% BSFLM and 100% FM (T0)), and FM replaced at 25% (T25), 50% (T50), 75% (T75) and 100% (T100) with BSFLM. Average daily feed intake (ADFI), average daily gain (ADG), body weight gain (BWG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were calculated for the whole trial. Hematological and serum biochemical parameters, the cost–benefit ratio (CBR) and return on investment (RoI) were evaluated. No significant effect of diet type was observed on feed intake and daily weight gain. Red or white blood cell indices did not differ among diets. Pigs fed T25, T75 and T100, had lower platelet counts compared to T0 and T50. Dietary inclusion of BSFLM did not affect blood total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein. CBR and RoI were similar for the various diets. In conclusion, BSFLM is a suitable and cost-effective alternative to fishmeal in feed for growing pigs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quality and Consumer Acceptance of Meat from Rabbits Fed Diets in Which Soybean Oil is Replaced with Black Soldier Fly and Yellow Mealworm Fats
Animals 2019, 9(9), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090629 - 29 Aug 2019
Abstract
This trial investigated the effect of the dietary inclusion of Hermetia illucens (H) and Tenebrio molitor (T) fats as alternative lipid sources for growing rabbits, and assessed the carcass characteristics; proximate composition; lipid peroxidation, and fatty acid profile of the meat, as well [...] Read more.
This trial investigated the effect of the dietary inclusion of Hermetia illucens (H) and Tenebrio molitor (T) fats as alternative lipid sources for growing rabbits, and assessed the carcass characteristics; proximate composition; lipid peroxidation, and fatty acid profile of the meat, as well as consumer acceptance. At weaning, 200 crossbred rabbits (1051 ± 138 g initial body weight) were allotted to five isolipidic (4% dry matter (DM)) dietary treatments: a control diet (C) containing 1.5% of soybean oil, and four experimental diets in which soybean oil was partially (50%) or totally (100%) substituted by H (H50 and H100) or T (T50 and T100) fats. The carcass characteristics, the meat quality traits, and the consumer acceptance of the cooked meat were not affected. The fat content of Longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscle of the rabbits was 1.1% on average. In the case of rabbit fed the H diets (average of diets H50 and H100), the same muscles revealed a higher saturated fatty acid proportion (47.1% vs. 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively) and a lower polyunsaturated fatty acid proportion than the rabbits fed the C and T diets (average of diets T50 and T100) (26.5% vs. 31.7% and 29.7%) (p < 0.001). The meat of the rabbits fed the diets containing insect fat (average for H and T diets) was less susceptible to oxidation (0.24 vs. 0.39 mg malondialdehyde/kg meat in the C group; p < 0.01). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hermetia illucens Larvae Reared on Different Substrates in Broiler Quail Diets: Effect on Physicochemical and Sensory Quality of the Quail Meat
Animals 2019, 9(8), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080525 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This research aimed at improving the fatty acid (FA) profile of Hermetia illucens larvae (HI) and evaluating the effects of their inclusion in growing broiler quails’ diets on the meat physicochemical quality, including detailed amino acid (AA) and FA profiles, sensory traits, and [...] Read more.
This research aimed at improving the fatty acid (FA) profile of Hermetia illucens larvae (HI) and evaluating the effects of their inclusion in growing broiler quails’ diets on the meat physicochemical quality, including detailed amino acid (AA) and FA profiles, sensory traits, and retail display. HI larvae were reared on two different substrates: layer mash (HI1) and 50:50 layer mash/fish offal (HI2). A total of 300 10-day-old quails were allocated to the three dietary groups (five replicates/each): a soybean meal-based diet was formulated (Control), and two other diets were formulated that included either 10% HI1 or HI2. Quails were fed the experimental diets until slaughter. Diets were formulated to be isonitrogenous and isoenergetic. Breast meat quality was affected by the dietary treatments, which displayed different proximate compositions and AA and FA profiles. Meat physical quality, sensory profile, and retail display remained unaffected for the most part. Overall, results showed that it is possible to improve the FA profile of the HI-fed quails’ meat and thus lipid quality through substrate modulation of the HI’s diet. Full article
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