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  • Author or Editor: E.F. Hoek-van den Hil x
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Abstract

Insects are receiving increasing attention as a possible ingredient for feed and/or food production. When used efficiently, insects can provide a sustainable and economically favourable contribution to global food security. Housefly larvae (HFL) can grow on a variety of organic side streams and upgrade them by partial conversion into high-quality protein. Organic side streams may be chemically contaminated by naturally occurring toxins, e.g. mycotoxins, therefore, effects on insect survival and biomass as well as other feed and/or food safety issues should be investigated. In this study, the HFL were exposed to a feed substrate spiked with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), deoxynivalenol (DON) or zearalenone (ZEN) at concentrations of either 1 or 10 times the maximum levels or guidance values set for feed materials by the European Commission. Mortality and biomass of HFL were recorded over five days of exposure. LC-MS/MS analysis was used to determine the concentration of the mycotoxins in the substrate offered, the larvae and the residual feed material. A molar mass balance was calculated to estimate how much of the spiked mycotoxins (and several metabolites), was recovered in the larval body and the residual material. Exposure to either of the three mycotoxins did not affect larval mortality and biomass, and accumulation in the larval body did not take place. Metabolism does seem to occur for AFB1 and ZEN as the molar mass balance revealed an unrecovered fraction of ca. 40-50%. Little DON metabolism occurred as most of the initially present DON was found back unchanged. The results of this study support the potential for safe use of HFL as food- and/or feed when reared on mycotoxin contaminated side-streams, as accumulation of the tested mycotoxins did not take place in HFL. Further research is needed to identify the fate of the unrecovered fractions of AFB1 and ZEN.

Open Access
In: World Mycotoxin Journal

Insect proteins are expected to be increasingly used for food and feed. Black soldier fly larvae (BSF, Hermetia illucens) can convert low quality organic substrates, such as manure, into protein-rich ingredients for food and feed. However, pig and chicken manure can contain residues from antibiotics and anti-parasitic drugs, resulting from treatments of the animals for diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the possible effects of veterinary drugs on black soldier fly larvae rearing, including growth and survival, as well as on the presence of residues in the larvae. The study focused on regularly found veterinary drugs in manure. Five-days old larvae were exposed to either 0.05 and 0.5 mg/kg flubendazole (FLUB), 0.05 and 0.5 mg/kg ivermectin (IVM), 0.5 and 5 mg/kg doxycycline (DOX), 0.5 and 5 mg/kg flumequine (FLUM) or 0.5 and 5 mg/kg sulfadiazine (SULF) for one week. The growth of larvae reared on substrate with IVM (0.5 mg/kg) was significantly lower than the control, while the survival of the larvae was not affected. The growth and survival of the larvae was not affected by the other treatments. Chemical analyses showed that concentrations of the veterinary drugs in the larvae, after exposure, were generally low. Only DOX concentrations in the larvae were high; these levels would exceed the European Commission maximum limit for DOX in meat products. Mass-balance calculations showed possible degradation or metabolism of veterinary drugs by the larvae, except for SULF. In conclusion, when using manure as substrate for BSF rearing, the possible presence of veterinary drugs in manure should be carefully controlled to ensure optimal insect growth and safety of the insect products.

Open Access
In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Insects are a promising future source of sustainable proteins within a circular economy. Proving the safety of insects for food and feed is necessary prior to supplying them to the market. This literature review provides a state-of-the-art overview of the chemical food safety hazards for insects reared for food and feed, focusing mainly on transfer of contaminants from the substrate. Contaminants covered are: heavy metals, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides, veterinary drugs, mycotoxins, and plant toxins. The twelve insect species reported as having the largest potential as feed and food in the EU are included. Transfer and bioaccumulation of contaminants depend on the chemical, insect species, life stage, and source of contaminant (spiked vs natural), as well as the particular substrate and rearing conditions. The heavy metals lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium can accumulate, whereas mycotoxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) seem not to accumulate. Mycotoxins and veterinary drugs could be degraded by insects; their metabolic routes need to be further investigated. Data are generally limited, but in particular for PAHs, plant toxins, and dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls. Further research on chemical safety of different edible insects is therefore warranted.

Open Access
In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

Globally, large amounts of various crops such as cereals, oilseeds, nuts and spices are contaminated with mycotoxins during pre-harvest, postharvest handling, processing and/or storage. Mycotoxin contamination results into economic and health issues, and valorisation options of contaminated crops are urgently needed. The aim of this research was to evaluate whether quality feed and fertilizer can be safely produced from naturally mycotoxin contaminated crops using black soldier fly larvae (BSFL, Hermetia illucens L.) under realistic field conditions in East Africa. Naturally mycotoxin contaminated maize (corn; Zea mays L.) was used as a model due its prevalence as food and feed and utilized by BSFL together with local agri-food by-products at a research facility in Rwanda. To assess the influence of the initial maize mycotoxin contamination and maize inclusion, larval diets with three mycotoxin contamination levels and two maize inclusion levels were tested. BSFL were tolerant against the high mycotoxin concentrations (e.g. 99.4 μg aflatoxin B1 kg dry mass-1) as the presence of mycotoxins in the substrate did not affect BSFL mass at harvest. Product safety was assessed by quantifying the presence of 38 common and emerging mycotoxins and metabolites in the maize, substrates and BSFL products (e.g. larvae and frass). The results show that it is possible to produce feed and fertilizer with BSFL considered safe within the European Union and East African legal limits with maize contaminated with mycotoxins typical for East Africa. Thereby, this research works towards the safe recycling of nutrients from mycotoxin contaminated maize within the food system in East Africa and beyond.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

In Europe, commercial and scientific interest in black soldier fly larvae (BSFL, Hermetia illucens) as a new feed source has grown substantially, primarily because this species can be reared on waste-streams which are otherwise unsuitable. However, before BSFL may legally be reared on such materials, and subsequently fed to livestock animals, safety must be guaranteed. Many hazards could be relevant, depending on the origin of the waste stream. Small- and large-scale experiments were performed in which BSFL were reared on the organic wet fraction of municipal household waste (OWF), kitchen/fast food waste (FFW), mushroom feet stems (MF), pig manure liquid slurry mixed with roadside silage grass (PMLSG), pig manure solids (PMS), and secondary sludge from slaughter waste (SW). Larval yields were highest on the control (chicken feed + water) and the FFW. Substrates and larvae were analysed to determine the presence of heavy metals, acrylamide, pesticides, veterinary drugs, and pathogenic bacteria. Cadmium (Cd) bioaccumulated in larvae reared on all substrates, in line with previous research. Some pesticides and veterinary drugs were found in the substrates: concentrations in the larvae were low, but potential formation of metabolites could be studied further. Acrylamide was present in the FFW, but not in the larvae reared on it: more research is needed to determine the (metabolic) fate. Bacillus cereus and traces of Salmonella spp. were found on some larval samples, but appropriate processing is anticipated to minimize potential risks. Based on these results, we conclude that most tested substrates are suitable for rearing BSFL, and do not appear to present major safety concerns, aside from the need for monitoring Cd concentrations in the substrates, and control measures for pathogenic bacteria. Further verification to account for variance in contamination of substrates is needed for definitive conclusions on the safety.

Open Access
In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

The use of insects as feed and food can be part of the solution towards a circular economy, in case the safety of insect products is assured. Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL, Hermetia illucens) can be reared on different waste streams. However, before BSFL can be legally reared on these streams, the safety of BSFL for feed and food should be assessed thoroughly. This study aimed to investigate several food safety aspects of BSFL grown on waste streams. Therefore, BSFL were reared for 7 days on substrate mixtures of waste streams with similar protein and moisture content. These waste streams included fast food waste (FF), mushroom stem (MS), pig manure solids (PS), poultry meal (PM) and slaughter waste (SW). The substrates, BSFL and the frass were analysed for the presence of metals and veterinary drugs. The substrates and BSFL were also analysed for presence of DNA of ruminant, pig and chicken. Some of the metals accumulated in BSFL, although the concentrations in BSFL (as these would be manufactured as feed) were below maximum limits for feed. Only traces of some of the analysed veterinary drugs were found in the BFSL and no accumulation thereof was observed. DNA of ruminant and pig was traced back in BSFL samples, however, chicken was not. A good understanding of the presence of food safety hazards and possible variance thereof in potential substrates, such as waste streams, and their possible residues in insects is necessary for implementation of this circular way of insect feeding in the food chain.

Open Access
In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed