A little celebration of some recent events before discussing BSF: So, the past two weeks have been fairly hectic in my laboratory (FLIES Facility) at Texas A&M University as I had two PhD students defend (successfully). I could not be MORE proud and excited for Dr. Dongmin Kim and Dr. Chelsea Miranda. Dongmin studied microbe-insect interactions as related to the pathogen causing Buruli Ulcer and mosquitoes. Chelsea studied the ability of BSF and house fly larvae to digest poultry, swine, and dairy manure. They both did an excellent job. Dongmin is off to the University of Florida as a post-doctoral associate. And, Chelsea is going to continue working with me at Texas A&M University as well as at EVO Conversion Systems, LLC. It should be noted, I have had 29 students complete their graduate degrees under my supervision- Chelsea is my first BSF PhD and she has set the bar very high for future students.
BSF Paper in the Spotlight this Week: This paper represents the third by Dr. Barragan-Fonseca that I have reviewed on this forum. This publication, much like the previous two (one of which was her dissertation) is an excellent study of BSF. It also highlights the importance of balancing nutrition fed to BSF larvae.
Barragan-Fonseca, K. B., G. Gort, M. Dicke, and J. J. A. van Loon. Effects of dietary protein and carbohydrate on life-history traits and body protein and fat contents of the black soldier fly Hermetia illucens. Physiological Entomology 0.
When I read studies such as this one, I often wonder how companies that work with highly variable food waste overcome this hurdle of variable nutrients result in variable BSF larval output. I would imagine they have set the basic parameters of the nutrient description in their products at minimums so as to meet country/regional regulations. But, I would also think such variability, if it exists, impacts who will use their products- especially poultry or fish producers as they tend to be very specific with their nutritional requirements for their mass production facilities. Regardless, the take-home message is: pay attention to what you feed your larvae as it will impact their development and production.
Insects in the News!
Insects as Food- a discussion with Professor Arnold van Huis. A general article about insects as food but it also expands into mass production and the associated challenges.
Edible Insect Festival. My friend and colleague, Joseph Yoon is back in the news. He does such a great job for the industry with spreading the word on insects a real food source that can be quite elegant when prepared by a skilled chef.
BioMar sees Potential of Insects as Feed. A short story on the work done by BioMar to develop insects as fish feed.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, Proud Advisor
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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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