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Fatty acid composition of black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) - Possibilities and limitations for modification through diet

Ewald, Nils; Vidakovic, Aleksandar; Langeland, Markus; Kiessling, Anders; Sampels, Sabine; Lalander, Cecilia


Black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens; BSFL) can convert organic wastes into a nutrient-rich biomass suitable in animal feed, which could be a way to achieve more sustainable production of food. However, little is known about how the diet fed to BSFL affects their nutritional value, especially their fatty acid composition. In this study, BSFL were fed 11 diets based on four different organic waste sources (mussels, bread, fish and food waste). Fatty acid and proximate composition (dry matter, crude fat, crude protein and ash) were analysed in the diets, in two-week-old larvae and substrate residues. Larval weight, survival and feed conversion were also recorded. The diet was found to affect all parameters investigated. Irrespective of diet, the larval fat consisted mainly of lauric acid and other saturated fatty acids and these were found to be synthesised by the larvae. However, both the fatty acid composition of the substrate, and the larval weight were found to affect the fatty acid profile of the larvae. In general, larvae with a higher weight contained a higher percentage of saturated fatty acids and a lower percentage of unsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It was concluded that the possibilities to tailor the fatty acid composition of the BSFL through the diet are limited; thus, the BSFL fat may not be suitable to replace fish oil, but has potential of inclusion in other food, feed and fuel products. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


DHA; Ecotechnology; EPA; Lauric acid; Omega-3; Resource recovery

Publicerad i

Waste Management
2020, Volym: 102, sidor: 40-47