Larvae breeding for feed production for fish, poultry and pig
An EIP operational group investigated the use of insect larvae in fish, chicken, and pig feed as an environmentally friendly substitute for imported soy and fishmeal.
This innovation project was focused on whether the use of insect larvae in fish, chicken and pig feed would be more environmentally friendly than current, widely used yet ecologically problematic, protein sources such as imported soy and fishmeal.
To respond to this question, a transdisciplinary team worked for three years to investigate several aspects of the challenge. Black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens L.) were fed by-products from food production (also called source substrate), and then used to produce substitutes that were added to compound feeds used in pig, chicken, and fish farming. Their nutritional properties, their economic efficiency, and their impact on GHG emissions were then tested.
- The Operational Group mapped the effectiveness of a wide variety of residues and by-products The resulting feed products (larvae meal and larvae fat) are very effective and the remaining substrate can be used as a valuable fertiliser.
- Larval protein from Austria was found, under certain production conditions, to be more environmentally sustainable than, for example, soybean meal from South America. Larvae meal from Austria produces between two to five kg CO2-eq per kilogram, while a soybean meal from Brazil produces between six to eight kg CO2-eq per kilogram.