USE OF THE BLACK SOLDIER FLY (HERMETIA ILLUCENS L.) AS AN ALTERNATIVE SOURCE OF CHITIN FOR THE PRODUCTION OF FEED SUPPLEMENTS FOR AQUACULTURE

06/08/2019

Summary

THE PROJECT AIMS TO SET UP THE REARING OF THE BIOCONVERTER DIPTERAN HERMETIA ILLUCENS L. (THE BLACK SOLDIER FLY) ON AN INDUSTRIAL SCALE IN ORDER TO PRODUCE CHITIN FOR THE FISH FEED INDUSTRY.

Technology Description

The project basically aims to set up the rearing of the bio converter dipteran Hermetia illucens L. (the black soldier fly) on an industrial scale in order to actually produce chitin for the fish feed industry. Black soldier fly larvae are able to feed on a wide variety of organic material, including by-products derived from the agri-food chain. The diversity of substrates they can process, and the efficiency with which they do so, may literally be the highest among the majority of flies.

Main advantages

  • Use of organic material, which would otherwise be lost;
  • Get natural feeds;
  • Use of increasingly nutritious feeds.

Stage of development

Massive rearing of H. illucens was already set up and optimized in a massive way. Larvae are specifically reared on different organic substrates from the agri-food industry. Pupal exuviae and dead adults are periodically collected and used to extract chitin. Currently, the chitin extraction process is being optimized in order to obtain chitin with the best characteristics for our purpose.

Challenge and needs

  • Optimize fish growth;
  • Make non-chemical feed;
  • Pay attention on the recycling.

Intellectual property

The technology is not yet protected by a patent.

Potential markets and targets

  • Feed mills that already produce feed for aquaculture based on components of animal origin;
  • Feed mills that are interested in developing new products for aquaculture;
  • Small fish farmers.

Potential partners

  • Feed mills that produce feed with components of animal origin and that have already implemented the necessary equipment in their plant;
  • Small fish farmers;
  • Feed mills that don’t produce yet feed for aquaculture and could be interested in developing a new technology in order to enter a new market;
  • Companies able to optimize the chitin extraction protocols from insects by increasing the yield and the degree of purity in order to provide a product suitable for testing the development of the technology

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