Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

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EISSN : 2352-4588
Published by: Wageningen Academic Publishers (10.3920)
Total articles ≅ 391
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, A. Verardi, S. Dimatteo, A. Spagnoletta, S. Moliterni, S. Errico
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed pp 1-16;

The challenge of feeding over 9 billion humans by 2050 requires a ‘rethink’ of the current linear food production system. In the view of a circular economy, insects can provide a possible solution to valorise waste to produce new foods and materials, as well as the opportunity to solve some environmental problems. Tenebrio molitor (TM) is the first insect approved by the European Commission as a novel food and widely explored by the research world. Although mass production of TM is still not competitive compared to traditional protein sources, studies and companies in the sector are improving the entire production process to meet the growing need for alternative and sustainable protein foods. The use of food loss and waste to replace commercial feed in TM rearing can improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the production process. Furthermore, the exploitation of the variety of TM-based products can lead to the creation of new value chains and employment opportunities. In this review, we focus on the ability of TM to convert low-value substrates into novel foods and materials, as well as the possibility of using the TM rearing waste to obtain fertilisers and bioproducts, such as chitin and chitosan. TM capacity to degrade plastic waste such as polyethylene and polystyrene, thanks to its highly differentiated gut microbiota, is mentioned. Critical aspects related to sustainability and scaling-up of TM rearing are analysed. Hints on food safety of TM-based products are provided. Therefore, this study is a comprehensive review of TM multifunctionality and, at the same time, identifies possible ways to improve the economic and environmental impact of this insect with a circular economy perspective.
, M. Siwela, R. Slotow, T.C. Munyai
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed pp 1-20;

Edible insects may be a sustainable source of protein and some other nutrients, especially for low economic status communities. The current study determined the influence of insect type, geographic location and cooking method on the nutritional composition of insects. The investigation would contribute to maximal derivation of the nutritional benefits of insects. Dried samples of four insect types, Gonimbrasia belina (mopani worm), Gynanisa caterpillar, termite soldiers/workers, and termite alates, were procured from different street vendors across Vhembe district in Limpopo Province, South Africa. G. belina samples were cooked by frying, boiling with and without salt addition. Generally, nutrient content varied significantly with insect type and geographic location (P<0.05). Protein content varied from 40 g/100 g in termite alates to 69.75 g/100 g in termite soldiers/workers. Termite soldiers/workers had the highest iron content (range: 545-629.5 mg/kg), whilst Gynanisa caterpillar had the highest zinc content (range: 122.14-150.33 mg/kg). Similarly, Gynanisa caterpillar had the highest levels of lysine (range: 0.80-4.53 g/100 g), threonine (range: 0.79-2.64 g/100 g) and isoleucine (range: 0.63-2.33). On the other hand termite soldiers/workers had the highest levels of valine (range: 2.20-3.47 g/100 g), leucine (range: 2.49-3.87 g/100 g) and phenylalanine (range: 1.38-3.55 g/100 g). Cooking method significantly affected nutrient retention. Boiling with salt added resulted in the highest retention of protein and total mineral content (ash), and, therefore, seems a suitable method for cooking insects. The findings indicate that, if optimally selected and cooked, edible insects can contribute significantly to the alleviation of protein, zinc, and iron deficiencies in target communities.
S. Alagappan, D. Rowland, R. Barwell, S.M.O. Mantilla, D. Mikkelsen, P. James, O. Yarger,
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed pp 1-14;

The demand for animal-based protein sources is increasing rapidly. The rearing of insects on bioproducts and their subsequent use as feedstock for animals has been receiving a lot of attention lately. Hermetia illucens, black soldier flies are highly investigated insects owing to their ability to reduce and transform different types of wastes, such as agricultural, household, municipal wastes, and human sludge. The nutritional composition and amino acid profile of black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) raised on these organic wastes is similar to that of several feed constituents making it a suitable material for feed. However, the commercialisation of BSFL is limited due to prevailing unclear legislative requirements regarding their use as feed. In this paper, the legislative landscape involved in using BSFL as feed in different regions is addressed. European Union, Australia, Canada and USA specifically allow the trade and manufacture of BSFL as feed under specific conditions. Interestingly, most countries where entomophagy is a tradition, lack specific regulations concerning their use as feed and are currently drafting regulatory frameworks. Understanding the legislative layout is essential for harmonising the industrial upscaling of BSFL as animal feed.
S. Mandolesi, S. Naspetti,
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed pp 1-14;

The practice of eating insects, known as entomophagy, is part of a regular diet for millions of people in Asia, Latin America and Africa. However, the use of insects as food is relatively new in Western countries. The present paper explores the willingness to adopt edible insects as food among Italian consumers using Q methodology. A sample of ‘experts’ (e.g. entomologists) and ‘non-experts’ (e.g. students and other researchers) formed the participant sample (P sample). Participants were asked to rank-order a set of 36 images of food dishes prepared using insects (Q sample). Results showed that visual appearance plays an important role in influencing consumers acceptance of insects as food. The Q analysis identified three distinct viewpoints or consumer profiles: Factor 1 ‘The Traditionalist’; Factor 2 ‘The Fast Food Addicted’; and Factor 3 ‘The Insectivore’. This study confirms that visible insects in food may be problematic for the more traditional viewpoint, while results for the other two factors identify possible avenues for better communicating insect-based food.
M.F.Z. Ali, S. Nakahara, Y. Otsu, A. Ido, C. Miura,
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed pp 1-14;

Dietary manipulation to maintain fish health and reduce bacterial infection through the use of immunostimulants has been widely used worldwide. A broad range of bioactive substances capable of optimising animal health has been found in several insect species, including antimicrobial/antiviral peptides, polysaccharides such as chitin, lauric acid, and insect products such as honey. Recently, we identified a novel bioactive polysaccharide from Bombyx mori, termed silkrose-BM, that can activate innate immunity in mammalian RAW264.7 macrophages and provide effective protection against vibriosis in penaeid prawns. However, the efficacy of dietary silkrose-BM in teleosts remains unclear. Here, we investigated the effects of dietary inclusion of silkrose-BM in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) after they were artificially challenged with Edwardsiella tarda. The survival of medaka after infection with E. tarda was significantly improved by dietary silkrose-BM at a concentration of 10, 100, and 1000 ng/g. RNA-seq analysis was performed in the intestine and liver of the medaka to identify changes in the transcriptional profiling evoked by silkrose-BM. The dietary silkrose-BM group showed 1,194 and 2,259 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the intestine and liver, respectively, when compared with the control group prior to E. tarda infection. Functional enrichment analysis of DEGs showed several putative genes involved in the Toll-like receptor/nuclear factor κB pathway, cytokine-cytokine receptor interactions, complement cascade, antimicrobial peptides, and junctional modification. Taken together, these results suggest that silkrose-BM used as an immunostimulant can improve the immune system and resistance to edwardsiellosis in teleosts.
, R. Nyunja, D. Chungu
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed pp 1-8;

Edible insects including termites form a suitable alternative for sustainable provision of animal protein to fight protein-energy malnutrition. It is as cardinal to study the food safety of edible termites as it is for any other food stuff. Twenty seven (27) samples were collected and analysed for total viable counts and Enterobacteriaceae. The microbial load was assessed using culture, microscopic and biochemical methods. The isolates identified in this study include Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, yeasts other than Candida albicans and Zygomycetes. Investigation of the total viable counts and Enterobacteriaceae of open air traded edible termites revealed loads higher than those recommended for minced meat 5.7 to 6.7 log10 cfu/g. The mean ranges were between 6.87 and 9.29 log10 cfu/g for total viable counts and 6.64 and 8.537 log10 cfu/g for Enterobacteriaceae. The presence of E. coli suggests faecal contamination of the sample along the value chain whereas S. aureus, yeasts other than C. albicans, and Zygomycetes indicate unhygienic handling of the food samples. Heat treatments can reduce the loads but may not be effective for enterotoxins and recontamination of the sample is possible. Poor hygiene and sanitation by handlers may contribute to contamination and recontamination of Edible termites. Food safety and hygiene education on processing and handling practices that reduce microbial loads at collection sites, transportation and display points are important especially since termites are sold as ready to eat foods in African open air Markets. Legislation on open defecation, use of toilets and promotion of hand washing hygiene can effectively reduce the risk of contamination with gastrointestinal microflora from faecal matter.
, D. Vandeweyer, J. van Schelt,
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed pp 1-10;

The main use of black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) is currently as an animal feed ingredient. While the bacterial community of the larvae has been characterised repeatedly via sequencing, microbiological safety assessment based on culture-dependent techniques is still scarce. This study focused on the occurrence of the spore-forming foodborne pathogen Clostridium perfringens during rearing and consecutive processing of the larvae, based on observations in a single rearing facility. C. perfringens vegetative cells and spores were determined, in addition to total viable counts, total aerobic spore counts and intrinsic parameters including pH, water activity and moisture content. All samples were obtained from an industrial production plant. In a preliminary experiment, substrate ingredients and dried larvae were analysed, but the larvae were produced with a previous batch of the substrate mixture. A second, more detailed, experiment was performed where all samples were collected sequentially from the same production run (substrate ingredients, substrate mixture, starting larvae, harvested larvae, residue, dried larvae and stored dried larvae). In the two experiments, (presumptive) C. perfringens, as determined on tryptose sulphite cycloserine agar, was found at low numbers in the ingredients and in the second experiment it was also found in the substrate mixture. Over the two experiments, total C. perfringens counts (i.e. vegetative cells plus spores) ranged between 3.0±0.1 and <1.2±0.5 log cfu/g and C. perfringens spores ranged between 2.5±0.1 and <1.0±0.0 log cfu/g. Interestingly, vegetative cells and spores of C. perfringens were below the detection limit in all larvae samples. Therefore, it appears that at this production site and based on the samples investigated, the pathogen did not colonise the larvae. However, these results indicate that insect producers should monitor this pathogen among others, and install good hygiene practices to avoid contamination.
, C.K. Mweresa, M.F.O. Ndong’A
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed pp 1-10;

Feeding black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) on locally available organic wastes has the potential of providing an alternative source of protein to fishmeal and soybean used in animal feed formulation. This can also mitigate against increasing accumulation of organic wastes and reduce high costs associated with their disposal. This study assessed the effects of three locally available organic waste substrates namely Irish potato peels, kale remains and bovine ruminal content versus chick mash as a positive control on larval weight gain, prepupal yield, substrate reduction rate, bioconversion rate and conversion ratio of BSFL. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine whether organic feed substrates had significant effects on BSFL while Tukey HSD, post-hoc test was applied for multiple comparisons and mean separation at P<0.05. Organic waste feed substrates influenced larval weight gain and prepupal yield (P<0.01), biomass reduction rate (P=0.04), bioconversion rate (P=0.01) and conversion ratio (P=0.04) of BSFL produced. Kale remains performed better than Irish potato peels and bovine ruminal contents implying that they can be enriched to provide an alternative feed for BSFL instead of chick mash. This study demonstrated that the three locally available organic waste substrates can be used to feed BSFL for sustainable production of animal feed. Black soldier fly larvae have the potential of providing a viable solution for degradation and disposal of ever-increasing quantities of organic wastes in the markets, towns and cities of sub-Saharan Africa.
D. Duhra, F. Buchanan, R. Newkirk,
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed pp 1-10;

This study determined if yellow mealworm larvae (YML) grown on deoxynivalenol (DON) contaminated wheat would affect broiler chicken performance. The YML were reared on wheat with low (LDW; 630 μg/kg) or high (HDW; 30,730 μg/kg) DON concentrations. The DON concentrations in the dried insect meals were 0 or 17.5 μg/kg for YML grown on LDW and HDW, respectively. Seventy-five male Ross 708 broilers were randomly placed into 15 cages and reared on one of three diets from day 1-35 (five replications/treatment). On day 14, broiler numbers were reduced to four per cage. The diets consisted of a control containing no YML meal (CD) and two diets containing 5% YML meal produced on either LDW (LMD) or HDW (HMD). Feed intake and body weight (BW) were measured over the duration of the experiment to calculate feed to gain ratio (F:G). On day 35, all birds were slaughtered and dissected to collect weights of the breasts, thighs, drums, wings, abdominal fat pads, and organs. Crude protein retention was higher in birds fed the LMD and HMD treatments compared to CD (P=0.0091). Dry matter retention was higher in the HMD diet compared to the CD and LMD diets (P=0.0046). Feed intake was lower in birds fed HMD compared to CD and LMD (P=0.0031) although final BW was not reduced. In conclusion, dietary inclusion of YML did not affect the growth, meat yield or organ weights of the birds. The YML reared on DON-contaminated wheat (up to 30,730 ug/kg) and included in broiler diets at 5% could be an effective means of converting salvage wheat into a safe and sustainable source of protein.
, D. Deruytter, S. Craeye, P. Bleyaert
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed pp 1-12;

Insect production is generally a monoculture where insects are kept in an enclosed environment with a stable climate to maximise production. To maintain these conditions air treatment is necessary, which results in high operational costs. Combining insect rearing with hydroponic greenhouse cultivation (HGC) of fruit vegetables might offer an opportunity for cost reduction. Fruit vegetables generally require more elevated air temperature, while leaving enough space under the substrate supporting gutters to allow insect rearing. In this study the feasibility of combining both production systems was evaluated with mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) and cucumber HGC serving as model species. The influence of the greenhouse climate was assessed by rearing mealworms simultaneous at two locations (a climate room and a cucumber HGC). Furthermore, pruning waste and aesthetically declined fruits could serve as a feed for insects. This was tested by comparing 4 different wet feeds (whole and mashed cucumber pruning, tomatoes and agar-agar). Larval growth was monitored and at harvest the mealworm yield was compared among treatments. Mealworm growth in the greenhouse was on average 8.1% slower than growth in a climate room even though the average ambient temperature in the greenhouse was lower and more variable (22.1±3.30 °C standard deviation compared to 27.0±0.34 °C). Moreover, the results showed that the tested HGC residues can be used as wet feed given that mashed cucumber pruning gave similar results as agar-agar (control) and tomatoes even outperformed the control significantly in terms of growth. ‘Entomoponics’ is introduced as the name for the combination of insect production and HGC of vegetables as a way to create added value in unused heated space inside a greenhouse and valorise greenhouse residues.
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