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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Effects of feedstock on larval development and process efficiency in waste treatment with black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens)

Lalander, C.; Diener, S.; Zurbrugg, C.; Vinneras, B.


Global population growth has led to an urgent need for more efficient food production systems. Moreover, as income levels increase, dietary preferences are shifting to more animal-based products. However, current feed protein sources deplete wild fish populations and contribute to rainforest deforestation. Capturing the resources in organic waste could help alleviate environmental impacts of food production. The larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) are ferocious feeders on decomposing organic material and could be used as protein source in animal feed. This study evaluated development of black soldier fly larvae on eight urban organic waste fractions and two control substrates. Principal component analysis was conducted to identify substrate properties that contributed to treatment efficiency and larval development. The main treatment factors found to be affected by substrate were waste-to-biomass conversion ratio, larval development time and final prepupal weight. The substrate properties with the greatest impact on biomass conversion ratio and larval development time were content of total volatile solids and protein content, while only total volatile solids content affected final prepupal weight. It was concluded that black soldier fly larvae are versatile in their feedstock preferences and can be used to treat a variety of organic waste streams, provided that the total volatile solids and nitrogen content are sufficiently high to support larval development. Abattoir waste, food waste, human faeces and a mixture of abattoir waste - fruits & vegetables are waste streams that are highly suitable for fly larvae treatment. (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


BSF; Feedstock evaluation; Fly larvae composting; Hermetia illucens; Larval development; Organic waste management

Published in

Journal of Cleaner Production
2019, Volume: 208, pages: 211-219

    SLU Authors

    • Associated SLU-program

      Food Waste

      Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
      SDG2 Zero hunger
      SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Food Engineering

      Publication Identifiers


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