Invited Speaker

Prof. Olivier Andre SPARAGANO

Prof. Olivier Andre SPARAGANO

Professor of Veterinary Parasitology and the Acting Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health, City University of Hong Kong, China
Speech Title: The dual role of the black soldier fly: food waste recycler and new animal feed: risks and opportunities

Abstract: In Hong Kong, food waste constitutes about one-third of total municipal solid waste which is mostly landfilled (Environmental Protection Department, 2017). Landfilling leads to problems like loss of biomass, and contamination of underground water and soil (Melikoglu et al., 2013).
Circular economy is not only brings huge economic gains by transforming waste into by-products such as new food protein sources but is almost a necessity in Hong Kong when space is at a premium. HK has one of the highest human density and therefore has also one of the highest food waste density. Hermetia illucens, also known as the black soldier fly (BSF) has been successfully used to reduce manure waste (Miranda et al, 2021), faecal sludge management (Lalander et al, 2021) or plant-based waste (Singh et al, 2021) or to feed different animal species such as fish (Abdel-latif et al, 2021), Chinese soft shelled turtles (Li et al, 2021) or pigs (Kar et al, 2021). To avoid filling the landfill sites up with food waste which could be recycled, black soldier flies are already used by very successful HK SMEs.
BSF larvae meal is well suited as feed component for aquaculture and poultry nutrition because of its high protein, fat, and mineral content (Surendra et al., 2020). The protein and fat composition of the larvae depends on the substrate they are fed (Ewald et al., 2020). Under experimental conditions, a blend of silkworm pupae and wheat bran substrate yielded the highest (56%) crude protein content (El-Dakar et al., 2021), while fruit waste substrate yielded the highest (47.4%) fat content (Meneguz et al., 2018). Furthermore, the fatty acid composition of the larvae also depends on the fatty acid composition of the substrate (Makkar et al., 2014) and plays an important role in future industrial development in the insect feed sector (Giannetto et al., 2020). Particularly, BSF larvae can accumulate various omega-3 fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA) from microalgae residual, silkworm pupae, and fish offal substrates (El-Dakar et al., 2021, 2020; St-Hilaire et al., 2007). These polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), especially the omega-3 fatty acids, are known for beneficial health effects such as anti-inflammatory properties, reduced cholesterol levels, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases (Ander et al., 2003).
The working hypothesis is that the choice of waste substrate fed to the larvae determines the fatty acid composition of the meal made of the larvae. There are various waste sources potentially available for insect rearing in Hong Kong and our objective is to identify the waste substrate that yields the highest PUFA content of the meal. This will support further progress in the insect meal production industry by adding beneficial health effects to the final products (fish or egg for instance).

Keywords: Black Soldier Fly, Edible insects, food waste recycling, insect-based agriculture

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Biography: Prof. Sparagano received his BSc and MSc from the University of Paris VII, France, his MRes from the University Blaise Pascal, France, and his PhD from the Institut Pasteur and the University Lyon I, France. Before joining City University of Hong Kong, he was the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Professor of Animal Health and Biotechnology at Coventry University, UK. Prior to this appointment, he was the Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University, UK.

Prof. Sparagano is a Chartered Biologist, a Fellow of the Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (of which he is currently the President for the third time), a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and an Associate Member of the Royal Society for Chemistry. He has published over 190 peer-reviewed papers and over 390 conference abstracts. He is currently Professor of Veterinary Parasitology and the Acting Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health at City University of Hong Kong