Black soldier fly larvae meal in an extruded food: effects on nutritional quality and health parameters in healthy adult cats

G. Bosch*, B.A. Loureiro, D. Schokker, S.K. Kar, A. Paul, N. Sluczanowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We aimed to evaluate the effects of including black soldier fly larvae meal (BSFL) meal in a dry extruded food on nutritional quality and some health aspects in healthy adult cats. Two dry extruded foods with either poultry meal (control) or 37.5% BSFL meal were fed to eight (3.8-5.2 kg BW; 2.3-y.o.) cats in a cross-over design with two 28-day periods. Food acceptance was recorded throughout the study and samples were collected during the last 7 days of each period for assessment of apparent total tract nutrient digestibility, faecal consistency, fermentation products and microbiota, and blood biochemistry and haematology. Foods were well-accepted and faeces were well-formed with optimal consistency scores. Digestibility values for dry matter, organic matter, nitrogen and gross energy were considered high for the BSFL meal-based food but lower than for the control food (P < 0.05). Unexpectedly, inclusion of BSFL meal had a profound impact on the intestinal microbial activity and composition as illustrated by increased faecal short-chain fatty acids (P < 0.05) and biogenic amines concentrations (P < 0.05) and reduced bacterial diversity (P < 0.05) and shifts in multiple genera (e.g. more Bifidobacterium) in the faeces (P < 0.05). Minor changes in haematology and serum biochemistry parameters were found and deemed not clinically relevant. Overall, this study showed that a BSFL meal-based extruded dry food is readily accepted by healthy adult cats, yields optimal faecal consistency, had suitable nutrient digestibilities and can support their health when fed for 28 days with new leads for impact on feline gut health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Insects as Food and Feed
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • digestibility
  • faecal fermentation profiles
  • faecal microbiota
  • haematology
  • serum biochemistry

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