Formas funding for in depth investigation of hygiene parameters in BSFL composting

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We are very happy to announce that Formas has decided to fund our project Circular economy in feed production by fly larvae composting – risks of accumulation of persistent disease agents in the reuse chain. In this project we will dive back into the hygiene of the black soldier fly larvae composting process, investigating the fate persistent disease agents we have so far not been able to able to study, e.g. scrapie prions and spore-forming bacteria.

We will investigate what happens to disease agents in the BSFL composting process and verify whether they end up in the larvae, the frass or are destroyed/inactivated. We will also try to establish if the known inactivation of selected disease agents (e.g. Salmonella spp.) happens in the passage through the larvae or is due to excretion of antimicrobial peptides. Finally, we will wrap up all collected knowledge in a quantitative risk assessment, in which we focus in particular at the risk of prions. The lack of knowledge to what happens to prions in this process we believe is one major reason that hinders the use of post-consumer food waste as feed substrate to insects.

To increase our joy even more, we were also granted another Formas project, in collaboration with Ecoloop, RagnSells, Tebrito, Johannas stadsodlingar. The aim of the project is to link the lab scale knowledge of the hygiene in insect processing to larger scale settings. We will develop quality control measures and implemented them at commercial facilities in proof-of-concept studies. In addition, the use of a block-chain based digital traceability system in a circular food production chain in which food waste is used as insect substrate will be investigated and a conceptual model designed. Discussions with authorities and certification organs will be maintained throughout the project. Hopefully these two projects can be part of a process in which the regulation on substrates for insects to include real waste substrates and not only food industry waste streams that are currently allowed. Many insect researchers are in agreement: for insects to have a real and sustainable impact on our food systems, they have to be reared on real waste substrates (see excellent comment on the Principles for the responsible use of farmed insects as livestock feed in nature food by Parodi et al (2022)).

 

We find there is potential to convert food industry waste to animal protein in Tanzania

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In our latest publication Food industry waste – An opportunity for black soldier fly larvae protein production in Tanzania recently published in Science of the Total Environment, we have investigated the potential of food industry waste as substrate for rearing of black soldier fly larvae (BSFL). We first conducted a survey, in which we assessed occurrence of wastes in different food industries in three large cities in Tanzania: Dar-es Salaam, Mwanza and Dodoma. We asked the companies a number of questions related to their current waste management system. Once we had an idea which waste streams that was available, we performed a multi-criteria assessment of the most suitable waste streams for BSFL rearing, taking into both availability (available quantities and potential competing use etcetera) and the physical characteristics of the waste. If you are curious to know which food industries there are, what waste they generate, what they currently do with their waste and which of these waste streams that could be used for BSFL rearing, read our article.

Capacity building and knowledge exchange on Black Soldier Fly composting technology

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Within our VR finance project Insect farming for feed production and organic waste management in Benin we now welcome three guests from Benin that will stay with us for a month to learn and exchange knowledge on the BSF technology: Daniel Dzepe, Carline Santos and Claude Gande (seen  in front of our BSF containers at Ultuna campus). Read their personal presentations below.

 

Hi! My Name is Daniel DZEPE, I am a PhD holder working with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Benin on Black Soldier Fly (BSF). Being at the Department of Energy and Technology of SLU for one month internship with Dr Cecilia Lalander’s team means a lot to me since I have been reading her interesting publications since my Masters. I will be working on BSF composting technology with Viktoria and the other technicians in the lab. Although I already have a good experience of BSF technology, especially regarding the rearing and bioconversion processes, I am so confident that my time in this team will improve my skills and knowledge and will probably allow me to get more opportunities in this field in the future. I will stay until the end of the month, and I am already ready to enjoy my stay with my new colleagues.

Hello. My name is Carline Santos, i’am researcher in Molecular genetics and plant protection from International Institue of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Benin (West Africa). My work focus on « impact of Black Soldier Fly (BSF) Frass on vegetable crops production and pest management ».

I came at SLU at the Department of Energy and Technology for one month internship to learn more about Black Soldier Fly (BSF) technologies for organic waste management. I’m very happy to join Dr Cecilia Lalander’s team and i want to thank SLU and everyone for this training  opportunity.  I would like to thank specifically Dr Cecilia Lalander, Dr Laura Riggi and Viktoria Wiklicky for your assistance since we are arrived.

 

 

Hello. I’m Claude Mathias GANDE, research technician from International Institue of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Benin.

I’m very happy to join Dr Cecilia Lalander’s team to improve my knowledge on Black Soldier Fly (BSF) technologies.