Organic Value Recovery Solutions LLC
© Organic Value Recovery Solutions 2010
© Organic Value Recovery Solutions 2010
Black Soldier Fly larvae breakdown - Biomass; Amino Acids; Mineral Content; Fatty Acids; Anti-
Microbial Properties; Soil Amendment
Please note: these are “general” breakdowns and end products may
vary based on the waste streams fed to the Soldier Fly larvae.
The larvae or “insect biomass” of the Soldier Fly (SF) are the end
product of the OVRSol process. The composition of whole unseparated
Hermetia prepupae meal is about 42% protein, 35% lipid, 5% calcium,
1.5% phosphorus, 3.4% lysine, and 1% methionine/cystine. SF meal
lipids contain about 54% lauric acid which has been shown to be active
against lipid coated viruses, including HIV virus, measles virus,
clostridium, and many pathogenic protozoa.
Percent amino acid content of dried soldier fly larvae fed either
beef or swine manure (Newton et al. 1977) .
Essential Amino Acids
Additional Amino Acids
The best studied product is the whole SF prepupae, simply dried and
milled and used in feed formulations for animals or fish. It adds energy
and protein to the diet formulation.
Diets containing 7.5% to 30% SF prepupae meal compared favorably
with an 8% menhaden fishmeal diet in a replicated feed trial with
channel catfish fingerlings. SF meal was used to replace half of the
fishmeal in rainbow trout diets. (see also: Future of Aquafeeds)
Mineral content and proximate analysis of dried black soldier fly prepupae raised on poultry and swine
The whole SF meal shows promise as a replacer for dried plasma in early weaned pig diets. Fifty percent
replacement gave slightly better performance during Phase 1 feeding. It was concluded that further processing
(cuticle removal, rendering, etc.) may allow feedstuff from the Soldier Fly to more completely replace current
expensive protein supplements.
Although the whole SF meal is marketable as a fishmeal replacer, separation into protein, fat, and chitin adds
value. After oil recovery (using an expeller process), the remaining high protein meal has greater value as a feed
than the whole dried prepupae. This would be especially true if SF were used as a bulk protein supplement, since
high levels of inclusion of dried SF prepupae result in higher than optimum levels of fat in most diets.
The cuticle or skin of the SF, like that of other arthropods, contains chitin. If SF were processed to recover oil,
other steps could be added for recovery of chitin and chitosan. These products have many uses and significant
value in several industries. A refined animal protein, as would be produced by removal of the oil and chitin from
SF, would likely have significantly greater feeding and economic value than the original dried SF.
The waste stream formulation also raises the idea of “designer feeds” - feeding the SF larvae itself on a diet
partially comprised of fish offal resulted in a feedstuff high in Omega - 3 fatty acids. This raises the possibility of
Designer Feeds or Nutraceuticals produced with specially fed larvae.
In terms of direct use in the human food chain, some people in Mexico and Vietnam routinely consume SF larvae.
This certainly attests to the possibility of people using SF somewhere in their food chain. Food safety issues are
Anti-Microbial Activity (Click here for reports)
There is considerable evidence that various fly larvae reduce bacterial activity where they feed. Several
mechanisms may account for the bacteria-free, antiseptic conditions of wounds occupied by surgical maggots,
where conventional medicine has failed.
Anti-microbial and anti-house fly activity has been observed with growing and dead SF larvae. We speculate that
SF have developed these capabilities as defenses against microbial and insect competitors. Reductions in E. Coli
0157:H7 and Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidus have been reported in manure occupied by SF larvae.
Observations by Dr. Newton and Dr. Sheppard shows that chopped SF stopped or strongly inhibited Lactobacillus
activity even at the low levels of 1% and prevented the expected ensiling of corn - prepupae mixtures. Although pH
was higher in the SF treatment than the controls, the material did not putrefy and ammonia production was lower
than in control mixtures with no SF, which did ferment.
Observations repeatedly indicate that SF larval activity eliminates mold development. Researchers in Indonesia
report antimicrobial and antifungal factors in SF feedstuff and that this increases the health of fish it is fed to.
The residual material from the OVRSol process (depleted feedstuff, manure, shed skins) is a friable low odor
material with half the dry matter (or less) of the original feedstock and is about 75% nutrient depleted. If properly
managed, this is a dry coffee ground like material. Currently produced residue is being marketed as an organic
fertilizer (ca 3-2-2) for $4 per 50 lb. One local user posted on an organic gardening blog; a respondent stated that
this was a bargain.