When Science Becomes Art- Great Study on the Microbiome of the Black Soldier Fly
How often does science become art? You know, situations where studies are so well done, and the figures fit the manuscript so well, that together, they become a work of art.
Well, I definitely feel the authors of today's paper being discussed accomplished such a feat. I am very impressed with the experiment design, data analysis, interpretation of said data, and the significance of the study to the field of BSF production. I wish I could include the images from the paper in my blog post but I don't think the journal would appreciate me doing so.
If you have time, please review this paper- if only for the images. Very impressive!
Bruno, D., M. Bonelli, F. De Filippis, I. Di Lelio, G. Tettamanti, M. Casartelli, D. Ercolini, and S. Caccia. 2019. The intestinal microbiota of Hermetia illucens larvae is affected by diet and shows a diverse composition in the different midgut regions. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 85: e01864-01818.
Main takeaways from the study:
1. BSF larval gut varies in terms of pH with the forgot and midgut being acidic and the hindgut being basic.
2. Microbiota of the substrate impacts the microbiota in the midgut of the BSF larvae. This is a very interesting find as it could indicate BSF larvae potentially are challenged by the microbes in the food substrate just as the nutritional makeup impacts BSF larval performance.
3. Dietary composition of the diet impacts the microbiota of the BSF larval gut.
In my opinion, here is the major discovery-This study determined, for these diets, BSF larvae did not impact the microbiota of the substrate. These data are counter to what has been found previously. Based on the figures, BSF larvae did not impact the number of bacteria present in the diet either.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, BSF artisan
Explanation of an industrial application of black soldier fly converting food waste into valuable products
This is the second industrial project demonstration, to review the first demo, please use the link: what-we-do-in-china-teamwork-through-evo-jmgreen.html
The purpose of this experiment was to compare the performance of a 315W halogen lamp and the 150W JM Green Black Soldier Fly Breeding LED (Model BSF-4C-200-3030B). The experiments were performed independently by David Deruyttter at the Inagro research institute (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Inagro Research Institute maintained an indoor black soldier fly colony on site using 315W halogen lamp in their Insect Pilot Plant. This population was used for this experiment. The test was performed in an indoor environment with no exposure to natural sunlight. The test was done in two cages with identical dimensions of 120Lx120Wx130H (cm) with the 10,000 of pupae introduced, and each cage was installed with one type of lighting source. The ambient conditions were maintained at 28°C and 80% RH. The experiment was performed three times.
The total amount of eggs collected from each cage over the entire test period was recorded. The collected eggs from one cage were allocated to hatch together, and the pure neonates (1 or 2 days old) were weighted to calculate the hatching rate. The hatching rate was calculated based on the assumption that each egg weighted 0.025mg, and each neonate weighted 0.015mg (Cammack, 2016, unpublish data), so the neonate weight was 60% of the egg weight.
The hatching rate is then calculated by:
"total neonate weight / (the amount of egg collected x 0.6) x 100%"
The viable eggs per wattage of the lighting source (E) is calculated by:
"the amount of egg collected x hatching rate / the wattage of the lighting source"
The E indicates the energy consumption requirement on the lighting source. The higher the value, the more efficient the light source.
Please note that the lighting source is just one of many factors that contribute to successful breeding of BSF. If colony management skill was not mastered, one should seek for reliable egg source nearby to start your farm operations.
Author: Spring Yang
Editor: David Deruyttter
It is rare where I get to mix pop culture in with discussions on the BSF. But, this paper has presented a great platform for me to do so. Everyone recognizes the ability of BSF to digest distillery waste and quite a bit of research has been done on this topic.
Well, this paper came across my desk recently, and it is quite a find. I say this for two reasons, 1) it allows me to discuss Snoop Dogg, and 2) it demonstrates BSF use is not limited to recycling wastes from typical western spirits.
Dobermann, D., L. M. Field, and L. V. Michaelson. 2019. Using Hermetia illucens to process Ugandan waragi waste. Journal of Cleaner Production 211: 303-308.
So, what is waragi? What I found out is this spirit is a form of gin produced in Uganda. Based on the introduction in the paper, this product is not legal so methods vary quite a bit in terms of its production. I guess you could say waragi is a boot-legged (look at definition 2b) beverage. The description of the recipe is quite fascinating- "combination of molasses, pure ethanol and other unidentified chemicals which are fermented in old oil drums..." In the end, a waste residue is produced.
Basically what the authors determined BSF could be used to recycle this waste! I highly recommend this paper as it is a unique application of BSF technology.
So- why the reference to Snoop Dogg? Well, I am a fan- and I his hit song "Gin & Juice" is a classic that keeps rocking!!
One afterthought... if waragi is a boot-legged spirit.. would one conclude the resulting BSF are also boot-legged? All I can picture is the idea of Smokey & the Bandit with BSF as the cargo.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, Gangsta BSF
Collaborations with Betsol in Malaysia Expanding: Fun Times and Business Simultaneously
For those that I am friends with on Facebook, you are aware of my, as well as Spring's, recent travel to Malaysia to visit with our partners, Betsol. For those that have not not aware, here is a summary for you.
The trip was a quick one as I arrive on a Sunday morning and departed the next Saturday. What I can say is WK and Thomas did a great job organizing an extremely efficient use of our time together to visit with many local and national officials to discuss the production of BSF. This work included visits with officials in Cambodia as well. From this experience, I can definitely say Betsol is very focused and well on their way to becoming a BSF force locally and globally.
Besides visiting with government officials we also visited with researchers at institutions throughout both nations. And, I am excited to work with old and new colleagues on BSF projects.
Here are a few photos of my experiences. Both countries are truly amazing and my life has been enriched by the people I met, the sites I saw, the sounds I heard, and of course- the food I ate. Many thanks to WK and Thomas for being such great hosts.
I often find my discussions of the black soldier fly (BSF) as related to waste recycling almost to be analogous to discussing a "cage match" in wrestling (check out the link to understand cage matches) The BSF larva is the champion and all waste types are the challengers. Who can enter the ring and defeat the champion? In other words- is there a waste the BSF larva cannot digest???
Now, I realize there are some waste streams the BSF does not recycle as well as others. I actually remember trying to raise BSF on paper waste.... I won't go into too much detail but needless to say- they larvae didn't do very well.
But- when you consider most common waste streams- especially produced through agriculture, the BSF does a pretty good job.
Here is another example of how good the BSF larvae are at recycling such wastes.
Julita, U., Y. Suryani, I. Kinasih, A. Yuliawati, T. Cahyanto, Y. Maryeti, A. D. Permana, and L. L. Fitri. 2018. Growth performance and nutritional composition of black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (L), (Diptera : Stratiomyidae) reared on horse and sheep manure. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 187: 012071.
In the case of this study- BSF larvae were able to recycle the waste; however, their performance was much better when these manure types were mixed with vegetable water. A couple of things to keep in mind- these waste streams (sans vegetable waste) are typically low in moisture and high in tannins- but which can be detrimental to insect development.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, Wrestling Fan when discussing BSF
Individuals with over 25 years research experience with the black soldier fly. We are passionate about the science behind the black soldier fly and its ability to convert waste to protein.
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