LWV23087 Insect health and insecticide residues in feed (BO-63-001-071)

Project: LNV project

Project Details


Reared insects such as black soldier fly larvae (BSFL, Hermetia illucens (L.); Diptera: Stratiomyidae) and yellow mealworm (YMW, Tenebrio molitor (L.); Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) can contribute to a more sustainable food 
and feed system. However, the substrates on which these insects are reared may contain residues of insecticides from agricultural use. Legal limits have been established for insecticides in food and feed products in the European Union (EU), but toxicity for reared insects is not factored into the assessment. The potential issues of the presence of insecticide residues in insect rearing substrates are threefold. Firstly, the presence of insecticide residues may adversely affect survival and yield. This may result even from concentrations at or below legal limits. These effects have been observed to be compounded by the presence of synergists as well as other insecticidel substances ('cocktails'). This is an economical issue for the insect farmers, as well as a welfare issue for the reared insects. Secondly, insecticidal substances may accumulate in the larval biomass, thereby presenting a food/feed safety or compliance issue. Most existing limits for insects as a food or feed product are set at very low levels compared to the limits for feed commodities such as wheat, meaning that even limited transfer from substrate to reared insects could result in non-compliance. Thirdly, exposure of 
reared insects to dietary residues of insecticides may cause changes in the composition of the insects, at macro- and micro-nutrient level, which would affect the nutritional quality of the insect products. Limited research on these three issues is available, making it difficult for insect rearing organizations to make informed choices for their rearing substrates. In the proposed project, several experimental studies will be conducted to study these three issues for a variety of insecticidal substances and combinations. The project will deliver 
concrete, species- and substance-specific recommendations for insect rearing organizations and suppliers of Vegetable, fruits and grain substrates to monitor and mitigate these issues.

Effective start/end date1/01/2431/12/27