Black soldier fly: The future source of protein for farm animals

23 February 2024

Corporate Communication and Alumni Relations Center (CCARC)

       The black soldier fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens, is a non-disease vector and non-pest insect species that prefers shade and causes minimal troubles to communities. In their larval stage, they can decompose organic materials by 80 to 90 per cent, converting organic waste into proteins and lipids, making them a suitable animal food due to the high nutritional content. A nutritional analysis reveals that black soldier flies fed by food excess contain a high protein level of 51.76 per cent with high calories. Moreover, this type of insect releases an allomone that inhibits the oviposition of house flies, keeping them away from the area and thus controlling their population.

       Following the BCG model, CMU Food Innovation and Packaging Center (FIN)’s project on the utilisation of black soldier flies to eliminate food excess and produce high-protein food has been implemented in partnership with CMU Faculties of Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine and Energy Research and Development Institute (ERDI), focusing on commercial product development. It is a part of the university’s BCG Model, acting as a prototype in balancing economic growth and natural resource conservation. This innovation is applicable for uses and adaptations by local communities, in line with the SO1: Biopolis Platform of the CMU Education Development Plan, Phase 13. The test results show that the use of black soldier fly larvae can decrease up to 14 tonnes of food excess per year. It is also found that the flies themselves can be converted into three high-protein animal food products for laying hens, local-breed chickens, and ornamental fish. Its applications have extended to the provincial scale to help decrease the amount of wet waste, contributing to a cleaner and healthier community.