In vitro digestibility and fermentability of selected insects for dog foods

G. Bosch*, J.J.M. Vervoort, W.H. Hendriks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Insects are considered as a sustainable protein source for future pet foods. Here we aimed to evaluate the protein quality of larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens, BSF), housefly (Musca domestica, HF) and yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor, YMW) and to evaluate the fermentation characteristics of their indigestible fractions. Clean freeze-dried larvae were subjected to in vitro simulated canine gastric and small intestinal digestion. Undigested insect residues, shrimp chitin and fructooligosaccharides (positive control, FOS) were incubated for 48 h with inoculum with fresh feces from three dogs simulating large intestinal fermentation. The AA profiles differed among the larvae with proteins from BSF and YMW larvae containing more Val and less Met and Lys than HF larvae. The in vitro N digestibility of the HF (93.3%) and YMW (92.5%) was higher than BSF larvae (87.7%). The BSF larvae also had lower in vitro digestibility values for essential AA (92.4%) and non-essential AA (90.5%) compared to the larvae of the HF (96.6 and 96.5%) and YMW (96.9 and 95.3%). Gas production for FOS increased rapidly during the first 6 h. Low and similar amounts of gas were found for HF larvae and chitin whereas gas production slowly increased over 30 h and was slightly higher at 48 h for BSF than for chitin. Gas production for YMW increased considerably between 6 and 20 h. At 48 h, gas produced for undigested residues was comparable to shrimp chitin and lower than FOS (P 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-184
JournalAnimal Feed Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Amino acid
  • Digestibility
  • Dog
  • Fermentation product
  • In vitro
  • Insect


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