Black Soldier Fly Prepupae for Aquaculture Diets

Forum: Mass Production of Black Soldier Fly Prepupae for Aquaculture Diets

Published on: 01/30/2012
Author/s : Gary J. Burtle, G. Larry Newton, D. Craig Sheppard (University of Georgia)
After decades of work in Tifton, Georgia, University of Georgia researchers think soldier flies will be a viable alternative to fish meal in aquaculture diets. Early work with the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) used manure as the growth media, but recent efforts show that food byproducts can be a better soldier fly diet. Catfish grow well on soldier flies and other fish, including tilapia...
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Paul Roberts Paul Roberts
Biologist
December 23, 2016
Valued observation, Kumar. Cheap protein can be poor protein, otherwise it would be expensive protein. Feed marketers have been testing ingredients for their value for decades so there is market based pricing derived from its value to what eve eats it.

Could there be a pass on of deficient amino acids into the pupae. The balance may be as important to the pupae as it is to fish production. An obvious opportunity for needed study. Try tossing in a fish feed vitamin and amino acid pack to the substrate. Better yet; is a full on amino requirement test for the pupae.

How is the cellulose handled by the pupae, is it utilized or just a clog on the digestive system?
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December 23, 2016
Dear Paul,

Appreciate your comments, I am not an entomologist. Being a fish nutritionist, I observed sudden and drastic decline in Barramundi WG after 50%. Cellulose digestion by larvae, I am not sure about that, since we focused on mass production rather than evaluating unit g susbstrate/ production. Surely, I have already planned for next year to study substrate volume effects on larvae production. As far as, the high/low price protein source is concerned, in during my talk last week in Taiwan, I came to know, European insects companies have introduced the insect meal at parallel price, even higher than FM claiming a premium protein source together with further price increase projection of FM. Overall, insect meal in commercial market has not been introduced as cheaper than FM. However, certain small scale producers are selling at lower price in local market. We can request to "Engormix" to enable to share files as well, as I tried to share here my Barramundi results. Merry Christmas and new year 2017
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December 23, 2016
Interesting, Kumar. Nevertheless I wonder if among the causes of the poor results when over 50% substitution with meal of insects grown on fiber rich substrata (I presume vegetables by products from salads, fruits, legumes), you may exclude the presence of insecticides and/or other agriculture chemicals present in the substrata.

Merry Christmas
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star Gary J. Burtle Gary J. Burtle
Associate Professor
December 23, 2016
Remember that BSF products have 30+ percent fat on a dry matter basis. When adding 50% to the diet of fish, protein/energy ratio is changed and growth response does also. Please use the published composition or study specific analysis when composing animal diets using BSF. Our discussion of rates of addition to animal diets indicate the obvious conclusion that BSF should not be the only component. Also, substrate costs are a great pressure to market the insect meal at a high price. Yet, by using wastes or non-feed-grade materials (food waste, manures, algae, aquatic plants, etc.) a lower cost of production will be achieved. Current information indicates that heavy metals may not be accumulated by BSF larvae, at least no higher than the amount in the substrate. Pesticide residue is not perceived a problem since products used for substrates would logically be screened for contaminants. Real product safety research is needed by all concerned, however.
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December 26, 2016
I had the experience of feeding larvae with a mixture 70/30 molasses / molasses, being toxic for these, since they all died.
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Paul Roberts Paul Roberts
Biologist
December 26, 2016
With all that fat; is there any reports on the lipid profile? Mono, di or tri glycerides? Are they the essential fatty acids or just available as energy? Does defatted BSF meal perform differently in fish feed?

These are basic question anyone marketing, using BAF meal in formulating feed (not just for fish), or buying such feeds.
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December 27, 2016
Dear Participants,

Appreciate yours valid points and highlighting pertinent concerns.

Dear Gary, yes I have also seen several experienced nutritionists does this mistake in feed designing based upon focusing only on isonitrogenous and isocaloric diets. Protein/energy ratio apart, FM replacement studies also differ between the concept of Protein replacement vs ingredient replacement. Nevertheless, mine experiential diets were designed and formulated to well maintained the P/E ratios. Moreover, I would like to also bring to the attention, the fat content solely depends upon the substrates. My experience, he lipid level exceeded 30%, when I used coconut by product, whereas for Sesbania plant by products, the processed BSF meal contained less than 12% lipid. Heavy metals, we diddnt challenge with to know the accumulation/bio-magnification, however Hg, Se and Zn were bellow the detection level. Which may suggest further in depth study for heavy metal concern.

Dear Paul, BSF larvae grown and processed here were found to have an inferior amino acids profile than FM but parallel with soybean meal. However, none of the amino acids were limiting for fish feed formulations. About fatty acids profile, I will check and get back to you. Wotth mentioning, none of us will be expecting EPA/DHA in the FA profile.

Cheers
Kumar
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star Gary J. Burtle Gary J. Burtle
Associate Professor
December 29, 2016
We have not done as much with defatted BSF as we had hoped due to the difficulty we have had manipulating the products. Grinding or pressing processes provide very gummy material, even after drying. I have not gone to the point of using hydrolysis prior to oil separation but think that may be an approach to production of high quality separations of oil and protein fractions. Chitin separation after hydrolysis of the BSF would be another step. Others seem to be performing oil separations from fly larvae (don't know the BSF share) by their own processes, example AgriProtein and their product MagOil.
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March 7, 2017
It is interesting as fish meal is getting more expensive. Have anyone produced fish using live soldier fly larvae, if so what was the outcome.
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star Gary J. Burtle Gary J. Burtle
Associate Professor
March 24, 2017
Yes, live BSF have be feed to fish and poultry. Though if published observations exist, I do not know. Logistics of having live larvae to feed is problematic. The larvae moisture content dilutes nutrient concentration. In chicken feeding, one producer used cotton ginning waste and meat processing scraps as a substrate then fed chickens on the combined BSF culture. That method did not allow BSF to be the sole nutrient source. Many small producers offer live BSF to fish and chickens under relatively uncontrolled conditions.

Be advised that the high fat content of BSF larvae and chitin content contribute to diet formulation challenges.
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Afam Anene Afam Anene
Animal Nutritionist
May 18, 2017
Can somebody show me a picture on the facilities for raising black soldier fly. I have tried to culture house fly larvae on different substrates and on each occasion, a cocktail of flies end up laying eggs that develop into larvae. How do I ensure that all the insects that lay eggs on a substrate are of the same species?
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Mohamed haroon Mohamed haroon
Student
May 30, 2017

Sir,
I am doing catfish farming in three acres with 150000 fingerlings. How can farm BSF larvae from chicken manure for the whole fish farm to feed enough them and kindly send me the whole procedures in detail.
My mail id is haroonatm407@gmail.com

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May 30, 2017

Contact Gary Burtle in Tifton, Georgia for more information on BSF production.

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Afam Anene Afam Anene
Animal Nutritionist
May 31, 2017
I have not produced maggots/larvae from BSF but rather from housefly maggots. The problem I have is the quantity of production. In all our trials, we have not exceeded 500g/Kg of substrate.r
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star Gary J. Burtle Gary J. Burtle
Associate Professor
June 2, 2017
Afam, if I read your not correctly you achieved 500 g per 1,000 gram substrate. I assume wet weight, so using feed conversion ratio, that is 2 parts substrate to one part maggot. Comparable to feed conversion for chickens and other relatively efficient animals.
What is your dry matter conversion percentage?
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Afam Anene Afam Anene
Animal Nutritionist
June 2, 2017
Sorry Gary, I made a mistake. Our maximum production was 167.91g/Kg of susbtrate. The weight is wet weight. can you guide me on the method for calculation of dry matter.
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June 23, 2017

I am producing soldier fly larvae in large volumes, but I have noticed that leachate is toxic to them, so a drainage must be installed.

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star Gary J. Burtle Gary J. Burtle
Associate Professor
June 26, 2017
Leachate from substrates can be high in ammonia. However, other materials, including metals with toxic characteristics, can be in the leachate. You might consider a different feeding rate or weight of substrate per larvae.
Dry matter conversion is calculated after the dry matter in the larvae and the substrate are calculated. Dry at 60 to 100 degrees C until a constant weight is achieved. The difference between the initial weight and the final weight is the amount of moisture. The amount of moisture divided by the initial weight times 100 equals moisture percentage. 100 minus moisture percentage equals percentage dry matter.
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June 26, 2017
90 to 100 mg larvar per day?
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star Gary J. Burtle Gary J. Burtle
Associate Professor
June 27, 2017
I am sorry, Oscar, but I do not understand what you are referring to in this thread. Perhaps I am missing the original comment.
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Gary J. Burtle
Gary J. Burtle
Associate Professor
  Tifton, Georgia, United States
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Gary J. Burtle Gary J. Burtle
Tifton, Georgia, United States
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Petersburg, Virginia, United States
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