I was hoping to shift gears with today's post back to the discussion of insects as feed for various livestock- specifically BSF, of course. My intent was to review older publication on this topic; however, why discuss the old right now when two brand new publications came out yesterday on this topic (I am such a geek- new publications on BSF really get me going with excitement for the field!).
So, my plan today is to offer a cursory overview of these two papers. You might ask yourself before reading the blog...what does JKT thing of them....What are his thoughts on the value of these papers? Hint- definitely must reads for beginners in the field of BSF farming. In fact, I will make sure to emphasize this point again at the conclusion of the post.
Wang, Y.-S., and M. Shelomi. 2017. Review of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) as animal feed and human food. Foods 6: 91.
Overview, Synopsis, & Conclusion: As this paper is a review, my approach will be a bit different. Basically, I will try to over a very concise summary of the paper. The work comes out of the National Taiwan University, and is as comprehensive a review of the BSF and its use as food and feed that I have come across outside of a text book. If you want a quick overview- this paper would be a great starting point. The paper covers the following topics: 1) BSF as livestock feed, 2) nutritional aspects of of BSF, 3) microbial and chemical contaminants, 4) rearing strategies for BSF, 5) legal regulations regarding BSF, and 6) records of human consumption.
The second portion of the manuscript is devoted to discussion. The discussion summarizes the authors thoughts on the use of BSF as a food or feed. Again, I like the paper as it gives such a broad overview of the BSF. Critic's corner assigns (my attempt at humor)- thumbs up!
Allegretti, G., V. Schmidt, and E. Talamini. 2017. Insects as feed: species selection and their potential use in Brazilian poultry production. World's Poultry Science Journal: 1-10.
Much like the previous article- the authors present a very general overview of insect production for use as feed for poultry (in this case).
Overview, Synopsis, & Conclusions: The authors present a case for the use of the BSF for as feed for poultry. I recommend this paper as well to those individuals just getting started as they author summarize a lot important facts about conversion rates, biomass production, and "low" vulnerability to disease.
One thing that caught my attention with this particular paper was the lack of information available (no fault of the authors) on select topics. Personally, I see such limitations as opportunities for improving the system and how it functions. For example, with the advent of sequencing technologies- we surely can do a better job of assessing BSF product for the presence of pathogens of human, livestock, and companion animals. I believe this work could also lead to novel discoveries for suppressing these pathogens- much like the work discussed in the blog post yesterday.
Regardless, both articles are a great starting point - terrific summaries of a lot that has been done with the BSF.
I think they also promote thought with regards to safety issues and what we know- and indirectly, what we do not know.
As always, I hope this information is useful. Until next time, best of luck and happy BSF farming!
Jeff Tomberlin, PhD, BSF farmer
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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