Black Soldier Fly: 100% Natural Protein Source - Nutritional Attributes
Black soldier fly larvae are a high-value feed source, rich in protein and fat. They contain about 40-44% DM protein.
The amount of fat is extremely variable and depends on the type of diet and on its fat content: reported values are 15-25% DM (larvae fed on poultry manure), 28% DM (swine manure), 35% DM (cattle manure), and 42-49% DM (oil-rich food waste).
They tend to contain less protein and more lipids than housefly maggots (Musca domestica). Ash content is relatively high but variable, from 11 to 28% DM. The larvae are rich in calcium (5-8% DM) and phosphorus (0.6-1.5% DM). The amino acid profile is particularly rich in lysine (6-8% of the protein). The dry matter content of fresh larvae is quite high, in the 35-45% range, which makes them easier and less costly to dehydrate than other fresh by-products.
The fatty acid composition of the larvae depends on the fatty acid composition of the diet. The lipids of larvae fed cow manure contained 21% of lauric acid, 16% of palmitic acid, 32% of oleic acid, and 0.2% of omega-3 fatty acids while those proportions were 43%, 11%, 12%, and 3%, respectively, for larvae fed 50% fish offal and 50% cow manure. Total lipid content also increased from 21% to 30% DM.
Feeding black soldier fly larvae with a diet made of wastes containing desirable omega-3 fatty acids is, therefore, a way to enrich the final biomass.