Send to

Choose Destination
J Sci Food Agric. 2017 Jun;97(8):2594-2600. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8081. Epub 2016 Nov 14.

Nutritional composition of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) prepupae reared on different organic waste substrates.

Author information

Department of Animal Production, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, B-9000, Gent, Belgium.
Department of Crop Protection, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, B-9000, Gent, Belgium.
Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety (VESPA), The University of Milan, Via Celoria 10, I-20133, Milan, Italy.
Department of Animal Sciences (Animal production systems group), Wageningen University, P.O. Box 338, NL-6700, AH Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Department of Applied Biosciences, Ghent University, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, B-9000, Gent, Belgium.
Trevi NV, Dulle-Grietlaan 17/1, B-9050, Gentbrugge, Belgium.
Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, B-9000, Gent, Belgium.



Black soldier fly larvae are converters of organic waste into edible biomass, of which the composition may depend on the substrate. In this study, larvae were grown on four substrates: chicken feed, vegetable waste, biogas digestate, and restaurant waste. Samples of prepupae and substrates were freeze-dried and proximate, amino acid, fatty acid and mineral analyses were performed.


Protein content of prepupae varied between 399 and 431 g kg-1 dry matter (DM) among treatments. Differences in amino acid profile of prepupae were small. On the other hand, the ether extract (EE) and ash contents differed substantially. Prepupae reared on digestate were low in EE and high in ash (218 and 197 g kg-1 DM, respectively) compared to those reared on vegetable waste (371 and 96 g kg-1 DM, respectively), chicken feed (336 and 100 g kg-1 DM, respectively) and restaurant waste (386 and 27 g kg-1 DM, respectively). Prepupal fatty acid profiles were characterised by high levels of C12:0 in all treatments.


Since protein content and quality were high and comparable for prepupae reared on different substrates, black soldier fly could be an interesting protein source for animal feeds. However, differences in EE and ash content as a function of substrate should be considered. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.


black soldier fly; fatty acid, amino acid; feed; protein; vegetable waste processing

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center