Stored-product insects as nutrient source: challenges and perspectives
Abstract: With a continuously growing human population, the need for alternative nutrientsources for animal feed, as well as for human consumption, is increasingly prominent. Thelast years there has been an increasing interest on the exploitation of inse cts as a source ofnutrients for animal feed and human food. Insects appear to be a promising, sustainablesolution to the upcoming protein shortage, as they have high nutritional value, can be easilyproduced using low cost raw materials and their product ion has low ecological footprint.Among the insect species that have been tested so far as food and feed resources are twostored product insects: the yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor L., and the lesser mealworm,Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer). Both spe cies are listed among the seven insect species thatcan be included since 2017 as feed ingredient in aquaculture fish feeds in EU. However, theexploitation of these insect species as nutrient source and their mass production in large scalehave still seve ral challenges to face. In the present study, issues such as the use of cheapagricultural by products as insect feeding substrates, as well as the susceptibility of insectbased feeds to insect infestations during storage were addressed.