Aquaculture production has experienced rapid growth and is projected to continue expanding to meet the increasing demand for safe and healthy seafood. Nevertheless, the animal feed industry, particularly the aquafeed sector, faces challenges due to a shortage of conventional high-quality feed ingredients. To address this issue and meet the rising demand, sustainable sources of proteins and oils are necessary . Over the past decade, the Black Soldier Fly has emerged as a promising candidate in this regard.
An experiment was conducted to explore the viability of using black soldier fly larvae meal as a sustainable nutrient and energy source for European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax). By assessing its digestibility in the fish, the researchers gained valuable insights into its nutritional value and potential advantages.
Material and methods:
An experiment was conducted to assess the A pparent D igestibility Coefficient (ADC) of nutrients and energy in black soldier fly larvae meal “HiluciaTM ” in European seabass. The trial included two types of diets: a reference diet (REF) that contained 0.05% yttrium oxide (Reis et al. 2008) as an inert digestibility marker, a TEST diet with 70% of the same basal mixture as the reference diet, and 30% of HiluciaTM. Quadruplicate groups of 12 fish with a mean weight of 89 ± 5 g were kept in 45 L sub-square tanks at a constant temperature of 21 ± 1°C, and their feces were collected by decantation using the Guelph system.
Results and discussion :
It was found that the protein in HiluciaTM was highly digestible, with a n ADC of 92%. This is in line with what was found in other studies (Magalhães et al. 2017 ). It provides a sustainable source of protein that can meet the nutritional requirements of European seabass. T he study revealed that the fat and energy in HiluciaTM were also easily digestible, with a n ADC higher than 93% and 89%, respectively. This means that BSF meal could potentially be used as an energy source in aquaculture feeds, in addition to its role as a protein source. The study found that the apparent digestibility of essential amino acids in HiluciaTM was high, with values exceeding 90% in most cases. This indicates that the protein fraction in BSF meal was highly digestible, apart from cysteine with ADC of 72%.
Overall, the study concluded that HiluciaTM was a highly digestible source of protein, essential amino acids, fat, phosphorus, and energy for European seabass. The study provides important insights into the potential of BSF meal as a sustainable protein and energy source for aquaculture feeds. The high digestibility of nutrients and energy in BSF meal suggests that it could be an effective alternative to traditional feed ingredients, and further research could help to identify ways to optimize its use in aquaculture feeds.
Magalhães, R., Sánchez-López, A., Silva Leal, R., Martínez-Llorens, S., Oliva-Teles, A., Peres, H., 2017. Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) pre-pupae meal as a fish meal replacement in diets for European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), Aquaculture . 476, 79-85 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2017.04.021.
Reis, P.A., Valente, L.M.P., Almeida, C.M.R, 2008. A fast and simple methodology for determination of yttrium as an inert marker in digestibility studies. Food Chem ., 108: 1094-1098.