Potential benefits of using Hermetia illucens frass as a soil amendment on food production and for environmental impact reduction

Eric Schmitt*, Wim de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nutrients, water, and light are the basic ingredients for crops. However, soil and water resources are under intense pressure, as the world's population increases and adopts lifestyles using environmentally intensive food products affecting air, soil, and water quality. Supply of nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) fertilizer has large socioeconomic benefits and has become essential to raise crops and animals to feed an ever-increasing world population, but only a small fraction of these nutrients end up in human mouths. A large fraction of nutrients is lost to the surrounding environment or in the form of food waste. Frass produced by the larvae of Hermetia illucens has the potential to recapture N and P from the food chain for reuse as a fertilizer, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, research is beginning to identify additional benefits from this frass, such as beneficial modification of soil microbiota and plant behavior. In addition to reviewing the current research on the effects of H. illucens frass, environmental impact analyses are summarized, and regulatory and knowledge challenges to the wide-scale adoption of frass are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100335
JournalCurrent Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry
Volume25
Early online date4 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

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