You Are What You Eat
Although black soldier flies are generally omnivorous, not every food is equally suitable for them. There have been numerous studies documenting diet effects on larval growth, survivorship, fat and protein contents, etc. However, as the publication below indicates, larval diet may also affect their more complicated nutrient properties, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. So, perhaps black soldier flies may be even used as nutraceuticals in the future.
Oh, J.H., Karadeniz, F., Yang, J., Lee, H., Choi, M.N., Jeon, S., Park, G., Kim, J., Park, K. and Kong, C.S., 2023. Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-adipogenesis activities and proximate composition of Hermetia illucens larvae reared on food waste enriched with different wastes. Journal of Animal Science and Technology, e87. https://doi.org/10.5187/jast.2023.e87
The use of insects as a food source is not a new idea, but it has gained momentum in recent years due to the need for sustainable protein source in livestock feedstuffs and for more environmentally friendly organic waste treatment. In the case of black soldier fly larvae, <italic>Hermetia illucens</italic>, research has focused on their ability to convert organic waste into usable nutrients and their potential as a protein source for animal and human consumption. In this study, black soldier fly larvae were reared on raw food waste (FW) mixed with garlic peel waste (G) and hydronic growth media waste (H) and the proximate composition and bioactive potential of black soldier fly larvae extract (SFL) were compared. Analysis showed that protein content of SFL fed with G was 4.21% higher and lipid content was 9.93% lower than FW. Similar results were obtained for SFL fed with H. Antioxidant activity of SFL-G was higher than that of SFL-FW and SFL-H. SFL-G treatment exhibited enhanced anti-inflammatory and anti-adipogenesis activities as well compared to SFL-FW. Current results suggested that feeding black soldier fly larvae with food waste added with garlic peel and hydroponic growth media waste resulted in increased nutritional value, polyphenol content and bioactivity for SFLs. In this context, garlic peel waste-added food waste was suggested a promising substrate for black soldier fly larvae to obtain high-quality protein source with enhanced antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-adipogenic potential.