So, I just returned from the 1st Conference on Edible Insects in Africa, which was held in Zimbabwe (see future post on conference). At the same time, I was reading a couple papers from my colleague, and new friend, Marwa Shumo, out of German via Kenya (field research at ICIPE), via Oman, and I was impressed not only by her research but her journey. BSF clearly serves as a proponent for a globalized community. I commend her dedication, drive, and scientific rigor when it comes to the BSF. If you have time, you might check out her blog as well. Side note- if you have not visited the website for ICIPE before, I highly recommend you do so. The level of research conducted there on insects as food and feed is tremendous!
Nutritional Assessment- in Detail!
The first paper explored exactly as I stated in the previous sentence, the nutritive value of BSF when reared on various substrates (chicken manure, kitchen waste, and spent grain) in Kenya (with a side not on aflatoxin- spoiler alert! no mycotoxins identified in BSF larvae).
Shumo, M., I. M. Osuga, F. M. Khamis, C. M. Tanga, K. K. M. Fiaboe, S. Subramanian, S. Ekesi, A. van Huis, and C. Borgemeister. 2019. The nutritive value of black soldier fly larvae reared on common organic waste streams in Kenya. Scientific Reports 9: 10110.
Climate Change- Something to Think About with This Study
The second paper, which was conducted in part with the previous study (with some variation in substrates used; cow dung and spent grain here), examined the influence of temperature on BSF development. Interestingly, they showed the optimal temperature range for BSF larval growth was between 25-30C. The source population of BSF used in the study is from ICIPE; however, I would like to know if it originated from Kenya or was imported from another area? Also, how many generations has this population been in colony? Has it adapted to the Kenya environment? Can it tolerate higher temperatures or low humidity?
Shumo, M., F. M. Khamis, C. M. Tanga, K. K. M. Fiaboe, S. Subramanian, S. Ekesi, A. van Huis, and C. Borgemeister. 2019. Influence of temperature on selected life-history traits of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) reared on two common urban organic waste streams in Kenya. Animals 9: 79.
Insects as Food & Feed in the News- just one story
Nugget of Gold in Story on Large Scale Study in The Netherlands- nice article giving an overview of a large-scale four year study at Wageningen University on the viability of insects as feed. The nugget of gold I found was the indication the European Union could approve insects as poultry feed.
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, 100K+ miles traveled so far this year for BSF & loving every minute of it
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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