Once you collect your BSF larvae, you need to decide how best to dry them so that you can store them potentially long-term (outside of freezing) or use as a treat or feed. This paper is the first to my knowledge on this topic- drying technique.
Huang, C., W. Feng, J. Xiong, T. Wang, W. Wang, C. Wang, and F. Yang. 2018. Impact of drying method on the nutritional value of the edible insect protein from black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens L.) larvae: amino acid composition, nutritional value evaluation, in vitro digestibility, and thermal properties. Eur Food Res Technol.
The study examined two techniques- 1) oven dry, and 2) microwave dry. Based on their study, they conclude oven dry results in a more digestible product and retains higher levels of valine and lysine. However, if you read the results, you notice that this limitation is nutrient specific. Some amino acids remain higher with microwave drying rather than conventional oven drying.
Data from the study indicate composition of many amino acids was higher than those levels desired by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations- this is good news.
The authors conclude that conventional drying results in a better product as related to Digestible indispensable amino acid score and digestibility; however, both methods resulted in product that exceeded FAO/WHO standards for indispensable amino acid levels.
I would hesitate to draw broad conclusions based off of this study alone. A question that comes to my mind is- can the process be refined (drying process- either oven or microwave) to optimize amino acid composition and digestibility?
An interesting point made in the paper is related to amino acid composition and how it impacts flavor- something that should be pursued further. Does drying method impact flavor?
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, excited about drying method results
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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