The nutritive value of black soldier fly larvae reared on common organic waste streams in Kenya

Marwa Shumo*, Isaac M. Osuga, Fathiya M. Khamis, Chrysantus M. Tanga, Komi K.M. Fiaboe, Sevgan Subramanian, Sunday Ekesi, Arnold van Huis, Christian Borgemeister

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In Africa, livestock production currently accounts for about 30% of the gross value of agricultural production. However, production is struggling to keep up with the demands of expanding human populations, the rise in urbanization and the associated shifts in diet habits. High costs of feed prevent the livestock sector from thriving and to meet the rising demand. Insects have been identified as potential alternatives to the conventionally used protein sources in livestock feed due to their rich nutrients content and the fact that they can be reared on organic side streams. Substrates derived from organic by-products are suitable for industrial large-scale production of insect meal. Thus, a holistic comparison of the nutritive value of Black Soldier Fly larvae (BSFL) reared on three different organic substrates, i.e. chicken manure (CM), brewers’ spent grain (SG) and kitchen waste (KW), was conducted. BSFL samples reared on every substrate were collected for chemical analysis after the feeding process. Five-hundred (500) neonatal BSFL were placed in 23 × 15 cm metallic trays on the respective substrates for a period of 3–4 weeks at 28 ± 2 °C and 65 ± 5% relative humidity. The larvae were harvested when the prepupal stage was reached using a 5 mm mesh size sieve. A sample of 200 grams prepupae was taken from each replicate and pooled for every substrate and then frozen at −20 °C for chemical analysis. Samples of BSFL and substrates were analyzed for dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), ether extracts (EE), ash, acid detergent fibre (ADF), neutral detergent fibre (NDF), amino acids (AA), fatty acids (FA), vitamins, flavonoids, minerals and aflatoxins. The data were then subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using general linear model procedure. BSFL differed in terms of nutrient composition depending on the organic substrates they were reared on. CP, EE, minerals, amino acids, ADF and NDF but not vitamins were affected by the different rearing substrates. BSFL fed on different substrates exhibited different accumulation patterns of minerals, with CM resulting in the largest turnover of minerals. Low concentrations of heavy metals (cadmium and lead) were detected in the BSFL, but no traces of aflatoxins were found. In conclusion, it is possible to take advantage of the readily available organic waste streams in Kenya to produce nutrient-rich BSFL-derived feed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10110
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2019

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    Shumo, M., Osuga, I. M., Khamis, F. M., Tanga, C. M., Fiaboe, K. K. M., Subramanian, S., ... Borgemeister, C. (2019). The nutritive value of black soldier fly larvae reared on common organic waste streams in Kenya. Scientific Reports, 9, [10110].