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Abstract

Worldwide, about 244 million t/yr of waste are produced by canteens and restaurant, of which 4.7 million t/yr are generated at the Italian level. Canteen waste (CW) could be used for feeding larvae of insect to obtain new marketable products (e.g. protein meal, frass and chitin). Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) are voracious and polyphagous species, and CW is a complete food for them. Furthermore, BSFL are capable to bioaccumulate some heavy metals thus allowing to obtain safe organic frass, but the bioaccumulation in larvae intended for feed purpose needs to be evaluated. The CW was sampled once a month and the sampling was carried out for a year from a local canteen, located in the northern part of Italy. The feeding was conducted in quadruplicate in plastic containers (12 l) and 2,000 g of CW and 2,000 5 days-old larvae were allocated in each box. Each trial ended after 7 days and growth performances were evaluated. The results reported an average dry matter final larval biomass, along the year, of 83.8 ± 46.05 g and an average dry matter frass quantity equal to 199.9 ± 140.32 g. The percentage of dry matter for initial diet was 21.7 ± 14.10, for final larval biomass was 34.3 ± 7.39%, and for the residue of 62.2 ± 17.01%. The initial diet, BSFL before and after feeding, and the residue were sampled and oven dried. Elemental analyses were performed with a mass spectrometer in triplicate for evaluating arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury quantities within CW, residues and BSFL before and after feeding. This trial certifies the ability of BSFL to accumulate (BAF > 1) arsenic (average of 0.165 ± 0.1480 ppm), lead (average of 0.238 ± 0.1562 ppm), cadmium (average of 0.077 ± 0.0367 ppm), and mercury (average of 0.008 ± 0.0043 ppm) during feeding, and it proves that the bioaccumulation complies with European legal limits on the amount of heavy metals in larvae.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

Gonimbrasia belina, known as the mopane worm, is a large edible caterpillar in tropical and subtropical regions. However, little is known about the bioecology of this species as influenced by its host trees. This study evaluated the importance of different potential host trees in understanding mopane worms’ behaviour and spatial distribution. To assess their relative importance, the study compared models incorporating various mopane worm host trees and predictor variables. Using the species distribution modelling (SDM) package in R, an ensemble of random forest (RF), support vector machine (SVM), and boosted regression tree (BRT) algorithms were used to assess the spatial extent of mopane worm distribution in Southern Africa. Four host tree-based scenarios were developed to assess their contribution to the relative distribution of the mopane worm i.e. (1) by excluding all the potential host trees as explanatory variables and considering only the environmental variables, (2) focusing on the primary host tree, Colophospermum mopane as an explanatory variable together with the other environmental variables, (3) incorporating all the host trees, including C. mopane and (4) examining all other host trees excluding C. mopane. Results demonstrated that incorporating all host trees enhanced the models’ predictive abilities (mean AUC = 0.87) underscoring the significant impact of the alternative host trees on the mopane worm distribution patterns beyond just the C. mopane. This study highlights the significance of host trees in predicting the behaviour and distribution of mopane worm populations, providing valuable insights and decision-making for mopane worm use as an alternative protein source, conservation efforts, and land management practices.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

With the growing human population the demand for protein is rising and waste production is increasing. Insects can provide a sustainable solution for both problems and produce food (protein and fat) from waste. Our study tested the ability of the black soldier fly (BSF) to reduce agricultural waste and produce a high-value product rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Initially, we tested the diet limitations of the larvae. We tested the composition of the agricultural wastes (brewery and avocado wastes) and the ability of the larvae to grow on them. A mixed diet based on brewery and avocado wastes was composed to increase larval weight and improve their fatty acid composition. The larvae were limited by the protein and water content of the diet (7% and 70%, respectively). The mixed diet that met the requirements of a minimal ratio of protein (7%) and optimal water content (70%), did not improve larval weight but increased the unsaturated fatty acid content. Therefore, using BSF larvae to reduce waste and produce protein is feasible; however, the end product should be considered when composing their diet from a waste mixture.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

Cyanobacteria blooms, a global environmental problem, have caused serious economic and ecological disasters worldwide. Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) are known to feed and develop on a wide range of feed sources, which makes the use of BSFL bioconversion promising for harvested cyanobacteria. In this study, cyanobacteria were compounded into feedstock by three different treatments, and then BSFL was placed into the substrates to explore the effect of treatments on BSFL growth performance and nutrient yield. It was found that the alterations in the nutrient composition of the substrate and the content of key compounds (vitamin C and microcystin-LR) caused by different treatments were responsible for the different growth performance of BSFL. Difference in larvae digestive enzyme activities caused by changes in treatment processes and substrate moisture content will ultimately affect the BSFL nutrient production. The larvae stress response to different treatment processes demonstrated that the low moisture content environment has an inhibitory effect on the growth of BSFL, and the harvested cyanobacteria treated by the sun-drying treatment process exhibited less interference on BSFL. Through a brief economic assessment, we conclude that cyanobacteria can only produce benefits with the sun-drying treatment process where the substrate moisture content needs to be maintained at 70-80%, wall-breaking and heating treatment and heating treatment processes showed a deficit due to a higher cost and a lower output. This study provides a reference for promoting the utilization of cyanobacteria and proffer instructive significance for the biotransformation of cyanobacteria by BSFL.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

Relative age effect (RAE) has been established in many sports, but there is no evidence known in equestrian sports. Equestrian sports do not have a consistent or traditional model of youth development. The aim of the study was to establish whether RAE is evident in equestrian sport and to identify whether rider sex has an effect on ranking. Data were collected from FEI results pages for Endurance, Dressage, Eventing and Showjumping. Birth date and quartile was compared at U18, U21, U25 and Senior in each sport. Chi-squared and Kruskal-Wallis were used to identify any RAE and whether there was a ranking difference between quartiles. A Mann-Whitney U test identified any ranking difference between sexes. No RAE was found in any sport or age category, however there were differences identified in sex for both ranking and participation. Males were shown to rank higher in jumping sports (senior) whereas females were ranked higher in Dressage and Endurance (all age categories). Further studies are required to evaluate the psychosocial factors and development structures in equestrian sport development can affect success. Results question whether a sex difference exists that requires further research into the sex-integration of all equestrian sport.

In: Comparative Exercise Physiology

Abstract

Food delivery applications have grown rapidly in recent years, fueled by increasing consumer demand for convenience and prepared foods. Previous studies on what factors encourage consumers to use delivery platforms rely largely on survey data, likely due to the lack of availability of restaurant or industry level data. Utilizing web-scraping techniques to collect restaurant level data from one of the biggest delivery applications in South Korea, Yogiyo, this study conducts an analysis on spatial market structure of the restaurant business. Through restaurant level data, market expansion, changes in the number of restaurants to order from, and changes in prices across regions with delivery application are considered. Analysis suggests that the average number of orderable restaurants increased from a nearby 2.3 restaurants to distant 13.5 restaurants with customers willingly paying for delivery fees according to distance via the delivery application. As the restaurant delivery market becomes spatially more competitive with an additional 13.5 restaurants, it is found that aggregate prices totaled with food prices and delivery fees from two restaurants in different locations converge to serve the customers between the two restaurants. In addition, the increased degree of competition due to increased number of restaurants leads the aggregate prices to decrease by between 5.13 and 7.56%, depending on regional characteristics.

Open Access
In: International Food and Agribusiness Management Review

Abstract

Edible insects are rich in protein and can serve as a significant source of vitamins and minerals. The house cricket (Acheta domesticus) stands out as one of the most nutritious edible insects. In various parts of the world, crickets are consumed roasted, baked, fried, boiled and in the form of cricket flour, a powder of dried and ground crickets. In Europe, processed animal proteins derived from eight insect species (including A. domesticus) have received authorization for use in fish, pig and poultry feed. Therefore, the development of a method for detecting house crickets is essential to verify product compliance and provide accurate labelling information to the end user. In this study, we have established a real-time PCR assay for the specific detection of house crickets. This method is based on the amplification of a mitochondrial fragment that codes for cytochrome b. We assessed its specificity by testing it against 39 other insect species, 7 plant species and 31 other animal species. Furthermore, we successfully evaluated the amplification efficiency, sensitivity, robustness, applicability on commercial samples and transferability to a second laboratory.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

Founded in 2016, the Mato Grosso Meat Institute is an autonomous social service formed by representatives of the farm production sector, of the industry, of society and of the state government to promote the meat produced in the state of Mato Grosso, one of the most important states for Brazilian agriculture and livestock production. Despite several promising projects in the pipeline on the topics of information sharing, sustainable insertion of smallholders and other, IMAC still has not reached a protagonist role in Mato Grosso beef chain. With several changes and trends emerging in consumer food behavior, its president (Caio Penido), is still looking for the best strategies to improve Mato Grosso’s competitive advantage and align all the agents involved to fulfill IMAC’s “vision for the chain”.

The Teaching Note to this Case Study is available on request via e-mail to ifamr@ifama.org

Open Access
In: International Food and Agribusiness Management Review

Abstract

Focal firms in the agri-food business must take strategic measures to ensure certain product and quality characteristics along the value chain. This is necessary in order to be able to keep up with competitors in the long term. Research shows that competitive parity, in addition to competitive advantage, should be considered as a strategic dimension. In the production of food, often several actors are involved and the focal firm (that is primarily responsible for the product) must organize the business relationships along the chain in such a way that the desired outcome is achieved in the short and long term. The achievement and safeguarding of competitive parity have been little researched so far. Up to now, there has only been a systematic literature review on this topic. Therefore, this aim of this research is to examine which factors influence the construct of competitive parity. Based on the findings of the literature review and further literature on the management of value chains, a theoretical framework is developed. A first empirical application of the model makes it possible to derive recommendations for action for focal firms in the agri-food industry. Therefore, we conduct a quantitative survey in the wine industry. PLS-SEM is used to analyze the model, using SmartPLS software. This research is the first to empirically investigate the strategic relevance of competitive parity in the agri-food business. The results show that chain management needs to pay attention to competitive parity besides the competitive advantage. Whereas the measures of cooperation have a stronger effect on achieving a competitive advantage, the measures of coordination have a stronger effect on achieving competitive parity. The constructs of power and trust — in contrast to the existing basis of resources and capabilities in the company — seem to have a significant influence on cooperation and coordination.

Open Access
In: International Food and Agribusiness Management Review