ArticlePDF Available

State-of-the-art on use of insects as animal feed

Authors:
  • Univ. Hohenheim/Univ. Nanjing/Univ. Gansu/Univ. Ulanbator
  • Association Française de Zootechnie

Abstract and Figures

A 60-70% increase in consumption of animal products is expected by 2050. This increase in the consumption will demand enormous resources, the feed being the most challenging because of the limited availability of natural resources, ongoing climatic changes and food-feed-fuel competition. The costs of conventional feed resources such as soymeal and fishmeal are very high and moreover their availability in the future will be limited. Insect rearing could be a part of the solutions. 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 we 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 to 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 to 100% of soymeal or fishmeal depending on the animal species. Except silkworm meal other insect meals are deficient in methionine and lysine and their supplementation in the diet can enhance both the performance of the animals and the soymeal and fishmeal replacement rates. Most insect meals are deficient in Ca and its supplementation in the diet is also required, especially for growing animals and laying hens. The levels of Ca and fatty acids in insect meals can be enhanced by manipulation of the substrate on which insects are reared. The paper also presents future areas of research. The information synthesized is expected to open new avenues for a large scale use of insect products as animal feed.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Animal
Feed
Science
and
Technology
197
(2014)
1–33
Contents
lists
available
at
ScienceDirect
Animal
Feed
Science
and
Technology
journal
homepage:
www.elsevier.com/locate/anifeedsci
Review
State-of-the-art
on
use
of
insects
as
animal
feed
Harinder
P.S.
Makkara,,
Gilles
Tranb,
Valérie
Heuzéb,
Philippe
Ankersa
aAnimal
Production
and
Health
Division,
FAO,
Rome,
Italy
bAssociation
Franc¸
aise
de
Zootechnie,
Paris,
France
a
r
t
i
c
l
e
i
n
f
o
Article
history:
Received
25
January
2014
Received
in
revised
form
1
July
2014
Accepted
20
July
2014
Keywords:
Insect
meals
Insect
larvae
Livestock
Monogastrics
Ruminants
Aquaculture
a
b
s
t
r
a
c
t
A
60–70%
increase
in
consumption
of
animal
products
is
expected
by
2050.
This
increase
in
the
consumption
will
demand
enormous
resources,
the
feed
being
the
most
challeng-
ing
because
of
the
limited
availability
of
natural
resources,
ongoing
climatic
changes
and
food–feed–fuel
competition.
The
costs
of
conventional
feed
resources
such
as
soymeal
and
fishmeal
are
very
high
and
moreover
their
availability
in
the
future
will
be
limited.
Insect
rearing
could
be
a
part
of
the
solutions.
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
we
collate,
synthesize
and
discuss
the
available
information
on
five
major
insect
species
studied
with
respect
to
evaluation
of
their
prod-
ucts
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
replace-
ment
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
con-
centrations
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.
Except
silkworm
meal
other
insect
meals
are
deficient
in
methionine
and
lysine
and
their
supplementation
in
the
diet
can
enhance
both
the
performance
of
the
animals
and
the
soymeal
and
fishmeal
replacement
rates.
Most
insect
meals
are
deficient
in
Ca
and
its
supplementation
in
the
diet
is
also
required,
especially
for
growing
animals
and
laying
hens.
The
levels
of
Ca
and
fatty
acids
in
insect
meals
can
be
enhanced
by
manipulation
of
the
substrate
on
which
insects
are
reared.
The
paper
also
presents
future
areas
of
research.
The
information
synthesized
is
expected
to
open
new
avenues
for
a
large
scale
use
of
insect
products
as
animal
feed.
©
2014.
Food
and
Agriculture
Organization
of
the
United
Nations.
Published
by
Elsevier
B.V.
All
rights
reserved.
Contents
1.
Introduction
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2
2.
Black
soldier
fly
larvae
(Hermetia
illucens)
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3
The
views
expressed
in
this
publication
are
those
of
the
author(s)
and
do
not
necessarily
reflect
the
views
or
policies
of
FAO.
Corresponding
author.
Tel.:
+39
0657054944;
fax:
+39
0657055749.
E-mail
address:
Harinder.Makkar@fao.org
(H.P.S.
Makkar).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2014.07.008
0377-8401/©
2014.
Food
and
Agriculture
Organization
of
the
United
Nations.
Published
by
Elsevier
B.V.
All
rights
reserved.
2
H.P.S.
Makkar
et
al.
/
Animal
Feed
Science
and
Technology
197
(2014)
1–33
2.1.
Chemical
constituents
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4
2.2.
Nutritional
value
for
different
animal
species
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5
2.2.1.
Livestock.
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5
2.2.2.
Fish
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5
2.2.3.
Crustaceans
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6
2.2.4.
Other
species
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6
3.
Housefly
maggot
meal
and
housefly
pupae
meal
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6
3.1.
Chemical
constituents
of
housefly
maggot
meal
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7
3.2.
Chemical
constituents
of
housefly
pupae
meal.
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8
3.3.
Nutritional
value
for
different
animal
species
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8
3.3.1.
Livestock.
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9
3.3.2.
Fish
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9
3.3.3.
Crustaceans
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12
3.3.4.
Other
species
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12
3.4.
Potential
constraints
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12
4.
Mealworm
(Tenebrio
molitor)
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12
4.1.
Chemical
constituents
.
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13
4.2.
Nutritional
value
for
different
animal
species
.
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13
4.2.1.
Livestock
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13
4.2.2.
Fish
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14
5.
Locust
meal,
locusts,
grasshoppers
and
crickets
.
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15
5.1.
Chemical
constituents
.
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16
5.2.
Nutritional
value
for
different
animal
species
.
.
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18
5.2.1.
Livestock
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19
5.2.2.
Fish
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19
5.3.
Potential
constraints
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20
5.3.1.1.
Pesticides
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20
5.3.1.2.
Lead
contamination
.
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20
5.3.1.3.
Presence
of
spines.
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20
6.
Silkworm
pupae
meal
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20
6.1.
Chemical
constituents
.
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21
6.2.
Nutritional
value
for
different
animal
species
.
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21
6.2.1.
Livestock
.
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21
6.2.2.
Fish
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23
6.2.3.
Crustaceans
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25
6.2.4.
Other
species
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25
7.
A
synthesis
and
conclusions
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25
8.
Future
research
areas
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28
Conflict
of
interest
statement
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28
References
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28
1.
Introduction
Insects
have
been
a
part
of
the
human
diet
for
centuries
and
are
currently
consumed
by
humans
in
many
parts
of
Asia,
Latin
America
and
Africa
(Bukkens,
1997).
These
are
considered
to
supplement
diets
of
approximately
2
billion
people.
Due
to
the
current
food
insecurity
situation
prevailing
in
many
developing
countries
and
future
challenges
of
feeding
over
9
billion
people
in
2050,
lately
these
have
received
wide
attention
as
a
potential
alternate
major
source
of
proteins.
As
a
result
of
increasing
incomes,
urbanization,
environment
and
nutritional
concerns
and
other
anthropogenic
pressures,
the
global
food
system
is
undergoing
a
profound
change.
There
has
been
a
major
shift
to
diets
with
increased
consumption
of
animal
products,
and
this
change
is
likely
to
continue
in
the
coming
decades.
The
demand
for
meat
and
milk
is
expected
to
be
58%
and
70%
higher
in
2050
than
their
levels
in
2010
and
a
large
part
of
this
increase
will
originate
from
developing
countries
(FAO,
2011).
The
livestock
production
is
resource
hungry:
for
example
it
occupies
30%
of
the
world’s
ice-free
surface
or
75%
of
all
agri-
cultural
land
(including
crop
and
pasture
land)
and
consume
8%
of
global
human
water
use,
mainly
for
the
irrigation
of
feed
crops
(FAO,
2009;
Foley
et
al.,
2011).
In
addition,
the
livestock
sector
contributes
approximately
14.5%
of
all
anthropogenic
greenhouse
gas
(GHG)
emissions
(7.1
Gigatonnes
of
CO2-equiv.
per
year)
(Gerber
et
al.,
2013)
and
animal
products
generally
have
a
much
higher
water
footprint
than
plant-based
foods
(Mekonnen
and
Hoekstra,
2012).
As
a
result
of
huge
demand
for
animal
products,
enormous
need
of
resources
including
feeds
to
produce
them
will
ensue.
Fuel-feed-food
competition
is
expected
to
further
exacerbate
the
situation.
A
quest
for
novel
feed
resources
is
a
must.
Insect
rearing
could
be
one
of
the
ways
to
enhance
food
and
feed
security
(van
Huis
et
al.,
2013).
They
grow
and
reproduce
easily,
have
high
feed
conversion
efficiency
(since
they
are
cold
blooded)
and
can
be
reared
on
bio-waste
streams.
One
kg
of
insect
biomass
can
be
produced
from
on
average
2
kg
of
feed
biomass
(Collavo
et
al.,
2005).
Insects
can
feed
on
waste
biomass
and
can
transform
this
into
high
value
food
and
feed
resource.
A
desk
study
(Veldkamp
et
al.,
2012)
has
demonstrated
that
it
is
technically
feasible
to
produce
insects
on
a
large
scale
and
to
use
them
as
alternative
sustainable
H.P.S.
Makkar
et
al.
/
Animal
Feed
Science
and
Technology
197
(2014)
1–33
3
protein
rich
ingredient
in
pig
and
poultry
diets,
particularly
if
they
are
reared
on
substrates
of
bio-waste
and
organic
side
streams.
This
paper
presents
current
status
on
five
major
groups
of
insects
(black
soldier
fly,
the
house
fly,
mealworm
beetles,
locusts–grasshoppers–crickets,
and
silkworm)
with
regard
to
their
distribution,
rearing,
environmental
impact,
nutritional
attributes
of
the
insects
and
insect
meal
and
their
use
as
a
component
in
the
diets
of
ruminants,
pigs,
poultry
(both
broiler
and
laying
hen)
and
fish
species,
potential
constraints,
if
any
in
using
them
as
alternate
feed
resources
and
future
research
areas.
2.
Black
soldier
fly
larvae
(Hermetia
illucens)
The
black
soldier
fly
(H.
illucens
Linnaeus
1758)
is
a
fly
(Diptera)
of
the
Stratiomyidae
family.
It
is
native
from
the
tropical,
subtropical
and
warm
temperate
zones
of
America.
The
development
of
international
transportation
since
the
1940s
resulted
in
its
naturalization
in
many
regions
of
the
world
(Leclercq,
1997).
It
is
now
widespread
in
tropical
and
warmer
temperate
regions
between
about
45N
and
40S
(Diener
et
al.,
2011).
The
adult
fly
is
black,
wasp-like
and
15–20
mm
long
(Hardouin
and
Mahoux,
2003).
The
larvae
can
reach
up
to
27
mm
in
length
and
6
mm
in
width