The increasing human population and improved living standards in developing countries have led to a higher demand for animal proteins, which has resulted in increased costs of animal feed ingredients such as fish meal, fish oil, soybean meal, and cereals. The global economic slowdown, has further compounded this challenge, making it crucial for the animal production industry to find innovative methods to secure future social, environmental and economic needs. Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae have emerged as a promising nutrient alternative due to their high protein and fat contents and a rich source of vitamins and minerals comparable to soybean and fish meal. Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) has the potential to reduce the cost of chicken feed formulations by partially replacing soybean and/or fish meals. This is one of the primary reasons why insects like BSF are seen as viable alternative protein sources for animal feeds. This review attempts to assess the challenges faced by the poultry industry and strategies to overcome feeding issues through the use of BSFL.
The authors would like to thank the staff of the Institute of Tropical Agricultural and Food Security (ITAFoS) and postgraduate students of the Nutrition Laboratory, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia for their assistance with this study.
This study was financially supported by the Universiti Putra Malaysia - Geran Putra Berimpak (GP-GPB/2022/9724500) and Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia through the Higher Institution Centres of Excellence (HICoE).
The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
Abdurofi I., Ismail M.M., Kamal H.A.W., Gabdo B.H., 2017. Economic analysis of broiler production in Peninsular Malaysia. Int. Food Res. J. 24, 1387–1392
Agunbiade J.A., Adeyemi O.A., Ashiru O.M., Awojobi H.A., Taiwo A.A., Oke D.B., Adekunmisi A.A., 2007. Replacement of fish meal with maggot meal in cassava-based layers’ diets. J. Poult. Sci. 44, 278–282,
Alexandratos N., Bruinsma J., 2012. World agriculture towards 2030/2050: the 2012 revision (No.12-03, p. 4). FAO: ESA Working paper. Rome (Italy)
Al-Qazzaz M.F.A., Ismail D., Akit H., Idris L.H., 2016. Effect of using insect larvae meal as a complete protein source on quality. Rev. Bras. Zootec. 45, 518–523,
Aniebo A.O., Owen O.J., 2010. Effects of age and method of drying on the proximate composition of housefly larvae (Musca domestica Linnaeus) meal (HFLM). Pak. J. Nutr. 9, 485–487,
Austic R.E., Nesheim M.C., 1970. Role of kidney arginase in variations of the arginine requirement of chicks. J. Nutr. 100, 855–868,
Austic R.E., Scott R.L., 1975. Involvement of food intake in the lysine-arginine antagonism in chicks. J. Nutr. 105, 1122–1131,
Awoniyi T.A.M., Aletor V.A., Aina J.M., 2003. Performance of broiler-chickens fed on maggot meal in place of fishmeal. Int. J. Poult. Sci. 2, 271–274,
Baker D.H., 2009. Advances in protein–amino acid nutrition of poultry. Amino Acids 37, 29–41,
Barker D., Fitzpatrick M.P., Dierenfeld E.S., 1998. Nutrient composition of selected whole invertebrates. Zoo Biol. 17, 123–134,<123::AID-ZOO7>3.0.CO;2-B
Boland M.J., Rae A.N., Vereijken J.M., Meuwissen M.P.M., Fischer A.R.H., van Boekel M.A.J.S., Rutherfurd S.M., Gruppen H., Moughan P.J., Hendriks W.H., 2013. The future supply of animal-derived protein for human consumption. Trends Food Sci. Technol. 29, 62–73,
Brammer C.A., von Dohlen C.D., 2007. Evolutionary history of Stratiomyidae (Insecta: Diptera): the molecular phylogeny of a diverse family of flies. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 43, 660–673,
Bregendahl K., Roberts S.A., Kerr B., Hoehler D., 2008. Ideal ratios of isoleucine, methionine, methionine plus cystine, threonine, tryptophan and valine relative to lysine for white leghorn-type laying hens of twenty-eight to thirty-four weeks of age. Poult. Sci. 87, 744–758,
Cai M., Li L., Zhao Z. et al., 2022. Morphometric characteristic of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) Wuhan strain and its egg production improved by selectively inbreeding. Life 12, 873,
Choi W.H., Yun J.H., Chu J.P., Chu K.B., 2012. Antibacterial effect of extracts of Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) larvae against Gram-negative bacteria. Entomol. Res. 42, 219–226,
Cockcroft B.L., 2018. An evaluation of defatted black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae as a protein source for broiler chicken diet. Master of Science Thesis. Stellenbosch University. Stellenbosch (South Africa)
Cromwell G.L., 2012. Soybean meal: an exceptional protein source. Soybean Meal Info Center.
Dabbou S., Gai F., Biasato I., Capucchio M,T., Biasibetti E., Dezzutto D., Meneguz M., Plachà I., Gasco L., Schiavone A., 2018. Black soldier fly defatted meal as a dietary protein source for broiler chickens: effects on growth performance, blood traits, gut morphology and histological features. J. Anim. Sci. Biotechnol. 9, 49,
De Marco M., Martínez S., Hernandez F. et al., 2015. Nutritional value of two insect larval meals (Tenebrio molitor and Hermetia illucens) for broiler chickens: apparent nutrient digestibility, apparent ileal amino acid digestibility and apparent metabolizable energy. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 209, 211–218,
Dengah S.P., Umboh J., Rahasia C., Kowel Y.H., 2016. Pengaruh penggantian tepung ikan dengan tepung maggot (Hermetia illucens) dalam ransum terhadap performans broiler. Zootek J. 36, 51–60,
Department of Veterinary Services, 2012. Downloaded from
Diener S., Zurbrügg C., Roa Gutiérrez F., Nguyen D.H., Morel A., Koottatep T., Tockner K., 2011. Black soldier fly larvae for organic waste treatment – prospects and constraints. In: WasteSafe 2011 – 2nd International Conference on Solid Waste Management in the Developing Countries, 13–15 February 2011. Khulna (Bangladesh), pp: 52–59
DOSM (Department of Statistics Malaysia), 2019. Selected Agricultural Indicators. Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Driemeyer H., 2016. Evaluation of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae as an alternative protein source in pig creep diets in relation to production, blood and manure. Master of Science Thesis. Stellenbosch University. Stellenbosch (South Africa)
Erickson M.C., Islam M., Sheppard C., Liao J., Doyle M.P., 2004. Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis in chicken manure by larvae of black soldier fly. J. Food Protect. 67, 685–690,
FAO, 2008. Edible insects provide food for thought at UN-organized meeting.
FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP, WHO., 2018. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018. Building climate resilience for food security and nutrition. Rome (Italy),, accessed 1/7/2019
FAOSTAT, 2016. FAO statistical database., accessed in July 2021
Fasakin E.A., Balogun A.M., Ajayi O.O., 2003. Evaluation of full-fat and defatted maggot meals in the feeding of clariid catfish Clarias gariepinus fingerlings. Aqua. Res. 34, 733–738,
Finke M.D., 2013. Complete nutrient content of four species of feeder insects. Zoo Biol. 32, 27–36,
FLFAM., 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2011, from Federation of LiveStock Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia / Persekutuan Persatuan Penternak-penternak Malaysia: my/files/Broiler%20Market%20Review%20(FINAL).pdf
Fok G., 2014. Black soldier fly larvae composting. Guillermo Fok.
Food and Agriculture Organization, 2012. Insects as animal feed. Edible Insects: Future Prospects for food and Feed Security, 89–97
Friend E., 2015. Meat consumption trends in Asia Pacific and what they mean for foodservice strategy. Euromonitor International. London (UK),
Furman D.P., Young R.D., Catts E.P., 1959. Hermetia illucens (Linnaeus) as a factor in the natural control of Musca domestica Linnaeus. J. Econ. Entomol. 52, 917–921,
Haasbroek P., 2016. The use of Hermetia illucens and Chrysomya chloropyga larvae and pre-pupae meal in ruminant nutrition. Master of Science Thesis. University of Stellenbosch. Western Cape (South Africa)
Han Y., Baker D.H., 1994. Digestible lysine requirement of male and female broiler chicks during the period three to six weeks posthatching. Poult. Sci. 73, 1739–1745,
Hopley D., 2015. The evaluation of the potential of Tenebrio molitor, Zophobas morio, americana, Blatta lateralis, Oxyhalao duesta and Hermetia illucens for use in poultry feeds. Master of Science Dissertation. University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch (South Africa)
Jansen Z., 2018. The nutritional potential of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae for layer hens. Master of Science Thesis. Stellenbosch University. Stellenbosch (South Africa)
Jones J.D., Wolters R., Burnett P.C., 1966. Lysine-arginine-electrolyte relationships in the rat. J. Nutr. 89, 171–188,
Józefiak A., Engberg R.M., 2017. Insect proteins as a potential source of antimicrobial peptides in livestock production: a review. J. Anim. Feed Sci. 26, 87–99,
Kim S.K., Weaver C.M., Choi M.K., 2016. Proximate composition and mineral content of five edible insects consumed in Korea. J. Food 15, 143–146,
King J.C., Shames D.M., Woodhouse L.R., 2000. Zinc homeostasis in humans. J. Nutr. 130, 1360S–1366S,
Kroeckel S., Harjes A.-G.E., Roth I., Katz H., Wuertz S., Susenbeth A., Schulz C., 2012. When a turbot catches a fly: Evaluation of a prepupae meal of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) as fish meal substitute – growth performance and chitin degradation in juvenile turbot (Psetta maxima). Aquaculture 364–365, 345–352,
Larouche J., Deschamps M.-H., Saucier L., Lebeuf Y., Doyen A., Vandenberg G.W., 2019. Effects of killing methods on lipid oxidation, colour and microbial load of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae. Animals 9, 182,
Leeson S., Summers J.D. (Editors), 2005. Commercial Poultry Nutrition. 3rd Edition. Nottingham University Press. Nottingham (England)
Lemme A., Ravindran V., Bryden W., 2004. Ileal digestibility of amino acids in feed ingredients for broilers. Worlds Poult. Sci. J. 60, 423–438,
Li Q., Zheng L., Qiu N., Cai H., Tomberlin J.K., Yu Z., 2011. Bioconversion of dairy manure by black soldier fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) for biodiesel and sugar production. Waste Manage. 31, 1316–1320,
Loponte R., Nizza S., Bovera F., De Riu N., Fliegerova K., Lombardi P., Vassalotti G., Mastellone V., Nizza A., Moniello G., 2017. Growth performance, blood profiles and carcass traits of Barbary partridge (Alectoris barbara) fed two different insect larva meals (Tenebrio molitor and Hermetia illucens). Res. Vet. Sci. 115, 183–188,
Makkar H.P.S., Tran G., Heuzé V., Ankers P., 2014. State-of-the-art on use of insects as animal feed. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 197, 1–33,
Marono S., Loponte R., Lombardi P. et al. 2017. Productive performance and blood profiles of laying hens fed Hermetia illucens larvae meal as total replacement of soybean meal from 24 to 45 weeks of age. Poult. Sci. 96, 1783–1790, https://doi. org/10.3382/ps/pew461
Mat K., Kari Z.A., Rusli N.D., Rahman M.M., Che Harun H., Al-Amsyar S.M., Mohd Nor M.F., Dawood M.A.O., Hassan A.M., 2021. Effects of the inclusion of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae meal on growth performance and blood plasma constituents in broiler chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) production. Saudi J. Biol. Sci. 29, 809–815,
Maurer V., Holinger M., Amsler Z., Fruh B., Wohlfahrt J., Stamer A., Leiber F., 2016. Replacement of soybean cake by Hermetia illucens meal in diets of layers. J. Insects Food Feed 2, 83–90,
McDonald P., Edwards R.A., Greenhalgh J.F.D., Morgan C.A., 2002. Animal Nutrition. 6th Edition. Pearson Education Ltd. Harlow (England)
Moraes V., Malheiros R., Furlan R.L., Bruno L., Malheiros E., Macari M., 2002. Effect of environmental temperature during the first week of brooding period on broiler chick body weight, viscera and bone development. Braz. J. Poult. Sci. 4,
Murawska D., Daszkiewicz T., Sobotka W., Gesek M., Witkowska D., Matsusevicius P., Bakula T., 2021. Partial and total replacement of soybean meal with full-fat black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae meal in broiler chicken diets: impact on growth performance, carcass quality and meat quality. Animals 11, 2715,
National Research Council (NRC), 1994. Nutrient requirements of poultry. 9th Edition. National Academy Press. Washington, DC (USA)
Newton G.L., Booram C.V., Barker R.W., Hale O.M., 1977. Dried Hermetia illucens larvae meal as a supplement for swine. J. Anim. Sci. 44, 395–400,
Newton L., Sheppard C., Watson D.W., Burtle G., Dove R., 2005. Using the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens, as a value-added tool for the management of swine manure. Report for Mike Williams, Director of the Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center. North Carolina State University. Raleigh, NC (USA)
Ognik K., Kozlowski K., Stepniowska A., Listos P., Józefiak D., Zdunczyk Z., Jankowski J., 2020. Antioxidant status and liver function of young turkeys receiving a diet with full-fat insect meal from Hermetia illucens. Animals 10, 1339,
Oliveira F.R., Doelle K., Smith R., 2016. External morphology of Hermetia illucens Stratiomyidae: Diptera (L. 1758) based on electron microscopy. Annu. Res. Rev. Biol. 9, 1–10,
Oonincx D.G.A.B., van Broekhoven S., van Huis A., van Loon J.J.A., 2015. Feed conversion, survival and development, and composition of four insect species on diets composed of food byproducts. PLoS One 10, e0144601,
Park S.I., Kim J.W., Yoe S.M., 2015. Purification and characterization of a novel antibacterial peptide from black soldier fly (Hermetia illcens) larvae. Dev. Comp. Immunol. 52, 98–106,
Payne C.L.R., Scarborough P., Rayner M., Nonaka K., 2016. A systematic review of nutrient composition data available for twelve commercially available edible insects, and comparison with reference values. Trends Food Sci. Technol. 47, 69–77,
Pearson J.V., Greenwood N.M., Butler E.J., Curl C.L., Fenwick G.R., 1983. Fish meal and egg taint. J. Sci. Food Agric. 34, 277–285,
Popa R., Green T.R., 2012. Using black soldier fly larvae for processing organic leachates. J. Econ. Entomol. 105, 374–378
Premalatha M., Abbasi T., Abbasi T., Abbasi S.A., 2011. Energy-efficient food production to reduce global warming and ecodegradation: the use of edible insects. Renew. Sust. Energ. Rev. 15, 4357–4360,
Pretorius Q., 2011. The evaluation of larvae of Musca domestica (common house fly) as protein source for broiler production. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Stellenbosch (South Africa)
Ray D.K., Mueller N.D., West P.C., Foley J.A., 2013. Yield trends are insufficient to double global crop production by 2050. PLoS One 8, e66428,
Reverberi M., 2017. Exploring the legal status of edible insects around the world. https://www.foodnavigatorasia....
Rumpold B.A., Schlüter O.K., 2013. Potential and challenges of insects as an innovative source for food and feed production. Innov. Food Sci. Emerg. Technol. 17, 1–11,
San Gabriel A., Uneyama H., 2013. Amino acid sensing in the gastrointestinal tract. Amino Acids 45, 451–461,
Sánchez-Muros M.J., Barroso F.G., Manzano-Agugliaro F., 2014. Insect meal as renewable source of food for animal feeding: a review. J. Clean Prod. 65, 16–27,
Schiavone A., Cullere M., De Marco M., Meneguz M., Biasato I., Bergagna S., Dezzutto D., Gai F., Dabbou S., Gasco L., Zotte A.D., 2016. Partial or total replacement of soybean oil by black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens L.) fat in broiler diets: effect on growth performances, feed-choice, blood traits, carcass characteristics and meat quality. Ital. J. Anim. Sci., 16, 93–100,
Schutte J.B., De Jong J., 1999. Ideal amino acid profile for poultry. Feed Manufacturing in the Mediterranean Region. Recent Advances in Research and Technology , Brufau J. (Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentaries, Reus (in Spanish). Tacon A. (Department of Animal Nutrition. Zaragoza (Spain), CIHEAM-IAMZ, p. 411
Schutte J.B., de Jong J., 2004. Ideal amino acid profile of poultry. In: J. Brufau, A. Tacon (Editors). Feed manufacturing in the Mediterranean region: Recent advances in research and technology. Cahiers Options Méditerranéennes 37, pp.259–263
Sealey W.M., Gaylord G., Barrows F.T., Tomberlin J.K., McGuire M.A., Ross C., St-Hilaire S., 2011. Sensory analysis of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, fed enriched black soldier fly prepupae, Hermetia illucens. J. World Aquacult. Soc. 42, 34–45,
Sheppard D.C., 1992. Large-scale feed production from animal manures with a non-pest native fly. Food Insects Newsl. 5,
Sheppard D.C., Newton G.L., Thompson S.A., Savage S., 1994. A value-added manure management system using the black soldier fly. Bioresour. Technol. 50, 275–279,
Sheppard D.C., Tomberlin J.K., Joyce J.A., Kiser B.C., Sumner S.M., 2002. Rearing methods for the black soldier fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae). J. Med. Entomol. 39, 695–698,
Song M.H., Lee H.S., Park K., 2018. Effects of dietary animal feed on the growth performance of edible insects. J. Life Sci. 28, 563–568,
Stamer A., 2015. Insect proteins – a new source for animal feed. EMBO Rep. 16, 676–680,
Surendra K.C., Olivier R., Tomberlin J.K., Jha R., Khanal S.K., 2016. Bioconversion of organic wastes into biodiesel and animal feed via insect farming. Renew. Energy 98, 197–202,
Suzana M.S., Bashah R.M.Z.R.K., 2018. Exploring the legal aspects and court process of forensic entomology from the Malaysia’s perspective. Serangga 23 (2 Special Issue), 271–281
Tomberlin J.K., van Huis A., Benbow M.E., Jordan H., Astuti D.A., Azzollini D., 2015. Protecting the environment through insect farming as a means to produce protein for use as livestock, poultry, and aquaculture feed. J. Insects Food and Feed. 1, 307–309,
Uushona T., 2015. Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) pre-pupae as a protein source for broiler production. MSc Thesis, University of Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch (South Africa)
Van Huis A., Itterbeeck J.V., Klunder H., Mertens E., Halloran A., Muir G., Vantomme P., 2013. Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security. FAO Forestry Paper 171. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Rome (Italy),
Van Huis A., Oonick D.G.A.B., Rojo S., Tomberlin J., 2020. Insects as feed: housefly or black soldier fly?. J. Insects Food Feed 6, 221–229,
Veldkamp T., Duinkerken G.V., Van Huis A., Lakemond C.M.M., Ottenvanger E., Bosch G., Boekel T.V., 2012. Insects as a sustainable feed ingredient in pig and poultry diet: a feasibility study. Livestock Research, Wageningen, UR. Report No 638
Verkerk M.C., Trampler J., van Trijp J.C.M., Martens D.E., 2007. Insect for human food. Biotechnol. Adv. 25, 198–202, https://doi. org/10.1016/j.biotechadv.2006.11.004
Watts D.L., 1990. The nutritional relationships of manganese. J. Orthomol. Med. 5, 219–222
Ween O., Stangeland J.K., Fylling T.S., Aas G.H., 2017. Nutritional and functional properties of fishmeal produced from fresh byproducts of cod (Gadus morhua L.) and saithe (Pollachius virens). Heliyon 3, e00343,
Widjastuti T., Wiradimadja R., Rusmana D., 2014. The effect of substitution of fish meal by black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) maggot meal in the diet on production performance of quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). Sci. Papers Ser. D Anim. Sci. 42,125–129
Wu G., Wu Z., Dai Z., Yang Y., Wang W., Liu C., Wang B., Wang J., Yin Y., 2013. Dietary requirements of “nutritionally non-essential amino acids” by animals and humans. Amino Acids. 44, 1107–1113,
Yan F., Coto C., Wang Z., Cerrate S., Watkins S.E., Waldroup P.W., 2010. Comparison of nutrient recommendations for broilers. Int. J. Poultry Sci. 9, 1006–1014,
Yang D., Zhang T., Li Z., 2014. Stratiomyoidea of China. China Agricultural University Press. Beijing (China)
Yao K., Yin Y.L., Chu W. et al., 2008. Dietary arginine supplementation increases mTOR signalling activity in skeletal muscle of neonatal pigs. J. Nutr. 138, 867–872,
Zuidhof M.J., Molnar C.L., Morley F.M., Wray T.L., Robinson F.E., Khan B.A., Al-Ani L., Goonewardene L.A., 2003. Nutritive value of house fly (Musca domestica) larvae as a feed supplement for turkey poults. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 105, 225–230,
Comparing the chemical composition of lesser duckweed (Lemna minor L.) grown in natural and laboratory settings
R. Miltko, M. P. Majewska, W. Wojtak, M. Białek, B. Kowalik, M. Czauderna
Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top