Protein Insects could build a new protein source in animal feeding
Although some studies have been conducted on evaluation of insects, insect larvae or insect meals as an ingredient in the diets of some animal species, this field is in infancy. Here the researchers collate, synthesize and discuss the available information on five major insect species studied with respect to evaluation of their products as animal feed. The nutritional quality of black soldier fly larvae, the house fly maggots, mealworm, locusts–grasshoppers–crickets, and silkworm meal and their use as a replacement of soymeal and fishmeal in the diets of poultry, pigs, fish species and ruminants are discussed.
The crude protein contents of these alternate resources are high: 42–63% and so are the lipid contents (up to 36% oil), which could possibly be extracted and used for various applications including biodiesel production. Unsaturated fatty acid concentrations are high in housefly maggot meal, mealworm and house cricket (60–70%), while their concentrations in black soldier fly larvae are lowest (19–37%).
The studies have confirmed that palatability of these alternate feeds to animals is good and they can replace 25–100% of soymeal or fishmeal depending on the animal species.