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A journey through the world of food taboos and food cultures
Adel den Hartog shows how complex the food choices of humans have been for millenia. Those who wonder why we eat what we eat, will find out practicalities, such as availability of products, transportation and costs, but also physiological, cultural, geological, and psychological factors matter. Den Hartog points out the importance of access to food for individuals and groups, and the influence of their socio-economical position. Can someone be convinced to eat something that they perceive as inedible? This book gives many examples of our limited flexibility, whether caused by an intolerance for genetical reasons, or because we simply did not know the food and want to keep it that way. Food habits are slow to respond to interventions, but these days, a meatless meal is no longer a sign of poverty. The book will attract the culturally interested reader. It can be used as a handbook for those who want to understand the background of our eating habits. The knowledge in this book can be used for a large range of interventions when it comes to food and life style.

Abstract

Chronic intestinal inflammation is associated with strong alterations of the microbial composition of the gut. Probiotic treatments and microbiota-targeting approaches have been considered to reduce the inflammation, improve both gut barrier function as well as overall gastrointestinal health. Here, a murine model of experimental colitis was used to assess the beneficial health effects of Bacillus subtilis SF106 and Bacillus clausii (recently renamed Shouchella clausii) SF174, two spore-forming strains previously characterised in vitro as potential probiotics. Experimental colitis was induced in BALB/c mice by the oral administration of dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) and groups of animals treated with spores of either strain. Spores of both strains reduced the DSS-induced inflammation with spores of B. clausii SF174 more effective than B. subtilis SF106. Spores of both strains remodelled the mouse gut microbiota favouring the presence of beneficial microbes such as members of the Bacteroidetes and Akkermansia genera.

In: Beneficial Microbes

Abstract

The recycling of minerals is crucial for the future circular agriculture. Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) can accumulate minerals in their body. This study investigated the effects of adding mineral-enriched BSFL, grown on substrates containing sewage sludge recyclates (SSR), to broiler feed to reintroduce minerals from waste streams currently subject to regulatory restrictions back into the nutrient cycle. Feed, nutrient, mineral and heavy metal intake, growth, blood metabolites and immunoglobulins, bone characteristics and mineral status of broilers were studied in response to different mineral-enriched BSFL supplements. Eighty newly-hatched mixed-sex Ross 308 chicks were divided into four groups, with six replicate pens per group. BSFL used in the broiler experiment were grown either on a modified Gainesville fly diet (FD) (L-FD) or on FD supplemented with 4% of sewage sludge biochar (L-BCH), or on the FD supplemented with Single Superphosphate (SSP) SSR (L-SSP). All broilers were fed age-specific diets and either had no access to BSFL (CON) or received 15% of CON birds’ feed intake as defrosted BSFL from three different sources. Inclusion of 15% of mineral-enriched whole BSFL in broiler rations had no adverse effects on growth performance parameters, nutrient intakes, nutrient conversion efficiency, plasma metabolites and immunoglobulins ( P > 0.05 ). Birds in BSFL supply groups had higher serum Ca concentrations than CON birds ( P < 0.05 ). L-BCH supplied birds had a lower serum P than CON birds ( P < 0.05 ). Tibial characteristics and mineral status of birds were not affected by larvae supply ( P > 0.05 ). Heavy metal intake (manganese, iron, zinc, copper, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury) of the birds was not affected by dietary treatments ( P > 0.05 ). In conclusion, 15% of mineral-enriched-BSFL reared on SSP can be included in broiler diets for 42 experimental days without adverse effects on nutrient intakes, growth performance parameters and bone condition.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

This study aims to analyze how knowledge flows occur between rural producers and the ecosystem of Medellín. Based on the case study method, 26 interviews were carried out, encompassing 10 rural producers and 16 actors of the ecosystem of Medellín, besides the documental analysis and direct observation, to complement the triangulation of the evidence sources. In the results, it was possible to map knowledge flows, identifying the actors of the ecosystem that interact with the rural producers of low technological incorporation. The University of Antioquia stands out with projects that involve producers in defining the demands to be met, but these are individualized actions on the part of the university, requiring greater integration of the other players in the ecosystem. The present study contributes with knowledge regarding a flow model to be replicated, in which a framework can be structured, to be investigated in other ecosystems, as well as its interactions with productive chains.

Open Access
In: International Food and Agribusiness Management Review

Abstract

Entomophagy, the practice of consuming insects, has long been recognized as a sustainable and renewable source of food. This study aimed at assessing the nutritional value of three species of wasp larvae (Provespa barthelemyi, Vespa mandarinia, and V. velutina) and explore effective strategies to address enzymatic browning during processing. The study reveals that wasp larvae exhibit considerable potential as a dietary resource, primarily due to their high protein content, more than 50% of the total dry matter. Remarkably, the presence of vitamin B2 in wasp larvae was unexpectedly high, with an average concentration of 2.20 mg/100 g. Additionally, enzymatic browning process in wasp larvae is closely associated with phenol oxidase (PO) activity. The simultaneous treatment of ascorbic acid at a concentration of 0.2% (w/v) and high hydrostatic pressure at 300 MPa significantly inhibited PO activity. Notably, the combined treatment exhibited a certain degree of efficacy in retaining the taste and texture of the larvae. To the best of our knowledge, this study pioneers the novel combined treatment aimed at mitigating browning in wasp larvae. Overall, our research reveals that wasp larvae boast a wealth of nutritional components, rendering them as a new resource food. Our research also provides an innovative approach for wasp processing.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

Insects are garnering attention as promising protein sources for broiler diets, presenting nutritional and environmental benefits comparable to plant-based protein sources. Various insects have been explored as broiler feed ingredients, including mealworm (Tenebrio molitor and Zophobas morio), cricket (Gryllidae), grasshopper (Acrididae), black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens), silkworm pupae (Lepidoptera), bloodworm (Chironomidae), and housefly maggot (Musca domestica Linnaeus). We reviewed the literature involving these insects to assess their impact on broiler diets. Previous research has indicated that supplementing broiler diets with mealworm larvae meal (0.3 to 1.0% inclusion level) improved growth performance. Black soldier fly larvae meal (2.0 to 5.0% inclusion level) can replace protein sources. Similarly, dietary supplementation with silkworm pupae meal (1.5 to 5.0% inclusion level) can also replace protein sources, while including dietary supplementation with housefly maggot meal (1.6 to 4.0% inclusion level) enhanced growth performance in broiler chickens. However, few studies have focused on the effects of dried crickets, dried grasshoppers, and bloodworm supplementation on broiler performance and health. Despite the limitation that insects are more expensive compared to soybean meal or fishmeal, the short breeding period and the high nutritional content of insects make their use in broiler diets generally promising. Our meta-analysis of 28 studies on black soldier fly larvae supplementation found that it significantly decreased average daily feed intake and increased average daily gain with an optimal level of 15.3% determined through quadratic regression analysis. In conclusion, supplementing broiler diets with different insects has potential as a strategy to enhance the growth performance of broiler chickens without compromising overall health.

Open Access
In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed
Authors: and

Abstract

Anecdotally, horse-riding is a ‘dangerous sport’, often grouped with activities such as motorcycling, skiing, parachuting, bull-riding, and rugby. This opinion is increasingly supported by evidence from retrospective analysis of trauma centre admissions for equestrian related incidents (ERI’s), albeit from relatively low numbers. The most common approach to reducing severity of ERI’s has focussed on encouraging the wearing of riding helmets and to a lesser extent, air-jackets and or body-protectors. Horse riders in the UK were surveyed to ascertain their experience of falls while riding in the preceding 12 months. A total of 3,757 responses were received with a subset of 1,977 complete surveys analysed. The majority of respondents were female (97%, n = 1,914). Falling off once in the last 12 months was most common (53.4%; n = 1,055); 24.2% (n = 478) had fallen off twice, 11.4% (n = 225) three times and 6.5% (n = 129) more than 5 times. Respondents were asked to specify the activity they were undertaking when their last fall occurred; hacking/trail riding (25.9%; n = 513), schooling on the flat (25.8%; n = 511) and showjumping schooling (19.4%; n = 384) were the three most common activities where falls took place. Horses changing direction rapidly (40.9%; n = 808) or rearing/bucking (23.8%; n = 470) were the most common reasons for rider falls, with most (73%; n = 1,443) riders falling off the side of the horse. Riders were most likely to injure their back (51%; n = 1,008), shoulders (39%; n = 771) or pelvis (37%; n = 731) when they fell off, but most injuries were self-rated as minor. Severe injuries as a result of a fall were more common when the riders’ head, back, shoulder or ankle was injured. A variety of factors appear to be involved in rider falls from horses, and many of these may be modifiable and hence preventable.

In: Comparative Exercise Physiology

Abstract

Silage maize in Michigan and the Great Lakes region is exposed to in-field ear and stalk rot fungal infections by Fusarium spp. which may result in production of toxic secondary metabolites called mycotoxins. These toxins can cause severe health complications in livestock but might remain unidentified as most silage maize is fed on-farm and not sold in formal markets. This study was conducted to quantify the status of mycotoxins and the agronomic management practices impacting their concentration in silage maize across Michigan farms. Samples (n = 122) were collected from across the state for three years (2019-2021). Results show that 100% of the samples tested positive for deoxynivalenol (DON) at detectable levels. Other mycotoxins that occurred frequently were zearalenone (ZEN), fumonisins, enniatins, and beauvericin (BEA). Mycotoxin concentration was found to vary across regions due to differences in weather parameters such as temperature and humidity, driven partly by the proximity of some regions to the Great Lakes. Mycotoxins were also found to co-occur, with an average of 13 mycotoxins in each sample. Strong correlations were observed between DON, ZEN, and BEA (r > 0.40). Crop rotation and planting date explained 91 and 68% variability in DON and fumonisin, respectively. Deoxynivalenol and fumonisin concentration was 20 and 67% higher in silage maize following a host crop of Fusarium spp. than a non-host crop. Planting silage maize between May 10 and May 30 increased the mycotoxin concentration by at least 50% than outside this window. However, tillage did not significantly impact mycotoxin occurrence and concentration. Overall, multiple mycotoxins were found in silage maize across the region and knowledge of their presence and contributing factors can help growers develop integrated management strategies to mitigate mycotoxin accumulation.

In: World Mycotoxin Journal

Abstract

Unsustainable agriculture contributes to disastrous global effects – insect-based feed shows potential due to their sustainable, nutritional, and waste upcycling properties. Current EU legislation restricts insect-based meals to fish, pork, and poultry feed; but the near-future shows a great potential for wider acceptance in livestock feed. Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL), mealworm (MW), field cricket (FC), and banded cricket (BC) were sourced within three consecutive weeks – each batch was prepared, freeze-dried, then milled, and stored at −20 °C. Chemical composition of whole-insect meals was analysed for ether extract (EE), crude ash, and nitrogenic contents using standard wet chemistry protocols. Monogastric in vitro digestibility was determined through replicating gastric and full intestinal digestion; during this, R-amino acid content was determined through protein hydrolysis kinetics. Additionally, ATR-FTIR was used for molecular analysis, including identification of nutrient-associated functional spectral bands – structural differences were compared through principal component analysis. Insect-based ATR-FTIR analysis demonstrates notable differences in Amide regions, suggesting distinct protein secondary structures, but overall, FC and BC contain the highest crude protein (CP) levels. The lowest CP content was in BSFL; however, BSFL contained the highest ash content – likely consequence of high calcium. Dry matter (DM) yielded lowest in the crickets (FC-28.6; BC-26.9 g/100 g), and highest in MW-38.5 g/100 g; the sum of CP + EE in MW represented >80% DM, but with higher EE contents-CP: EE = 2.45. Data shows greater chitin content in crickets than BSFL + MW. Crickets showed greater neutral detergent fibre (NDF) than BSFL + MW; however, acid-detergent fibre (ADF) was similar among all species, suggesting NDF may include amalgams of interlinked nutrients released by acid digestion. This first study shows for the first time evidence that rearing conditions and substrates influences molecular structure. Exponential solubilisation was observed during pepsin + pancreatin digestion for all, but BSFL exhibited the highest degree-of-hydrolysis during the pancreatin phase, surpassing others. Analysis indicates protein hydrolysis differences are linked to trypsin activity susceptibility.

Open Access
In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed
Authors: , , and

Abstract

Agricultural by-products can serve as an excellent food source for edible insects, but their high-fibre properties can present challenges. One solution to this is fermentation, which can enhance their nutritional value by breaking down the fibre. However, little research has been conducted on how this method interacts with other environmental factors in insect rearing. To address this gap, our study aimed to investigate the impact of substrate fermentation and larval density on black soldier fly (BSF) larvae. We compared fermented substrates (fermented spent grain and additionally fermented ensiled grass) with standard fibrous substrates (spent grain and ensiled grass) and applied two larval density treatments (high and low). Our findings revealed that prepupal mass was significantly greater in fermented substrates than in standard fibrous substrates, with variations dependent on the substrate and larval density treatments. Larval density significantly influenced prepupal mass only in the fermented spent grain treatment. Substrate type influenced development time, with fermented spent grain resulting in a shorter development time than ensiled grass. However, substrate fermentation and larval density did not affect development time. Substrate fermentation only increased larval survival when individuals were reared on spent grain at high larval density. There were no significant differences in survival between fermented and standard substrates in other substrate and larval density combinations. Our study demonstrates that fermentation could serve as a way to amend fibrous substrates, making them suitable for rearing BSF larvae; however, its effects depend on environmental factors such as larval density.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed