Black Soldier Flies Improve Oral Health
At least in dogs, but I do not see why it would not apply to some other mammals as well. A recent study has shown that including black soldier fly component into formulated dog food had a positive effect on oral microbiota of the tested beagles and, hence, on their oral health in general. This is not surprising because black soldier flies are already well known to affect microbial communities, including suppressing pathogens.
Given an already increasing interest in using black soldier flies in pet foods, this is certainly an important development. Does black soldier fly fortified toothpaste await us in the future?
Neto, E.S., Cardoso, R.K.N., Santos, L.A.T.A., Sampaio, F.C., Santos, E.M., Restan, W.A.Z., Aarts, K., Paul, A. and Loureiro, B.A., 2023. Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae meal based extruded diets: potential to improve canine oral health. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, https://doi.org/10.1163/23524588-20230098
Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) meal-based pet food is gaining traction in Europe. In order to unlock the full potential of antimicrobial peptides and fatty acids present in BSFL meal, we evaluated the role of BSFL meal containing pet food in modulating the oral health of dogs. During this study eight female beagle dogs were fed with two iso-nutritive diets in a cross-over design with two periods of 50 days each. These diets were made using defatted BSFL meal or low ash poultry by product (PBP) meal as the main protein source. At the end of the first period, the animals underwent a wash out period of 7 days and the treatments were inverted following this treatment. Oral health of dogs was measured by: (1) count of colony forming unit of volatile sulfur producing bacterial (VSC) in dental plaque; (2) DNA extraction and amplification of 16S rRNA genes from saliva for bacterial profiling; and (3) oral malodor scoring. We found significant reduction of VSC ( P < 0.05) before and after 50 days of BSFL based pet food consumption. Oral malodor score was not significantly different before and after BSFL based pet food consumption. However, there was a strong tendency for malodor reduction related to BSFL fed groups ( P = 0.097). Finally, there was a significant difference ( P < 0.05) between treatments in the relative abundance of Moraxella, with higher abundance in dog’s saliva when fed BSFL diets. This bacterial group is identified as a marker of oral health. In conclusion, the consumption of BSFL meal-based diets has strong potential to decrease VSC and positively modulates the saliva microbiota, which can suppress the occurrence of halitosis and improve oral health.