You can feed larvae alive to poultry. You can also process them by crushing them to a pulp, heating the pulp and then centrifuging. This results in a protein fraction and a fraction of insect oil. The chitin also remains. What can be done with this?


1. Feed market

Insect flour (the dried protein fraction) is especially a superfood during the early stages of life. This applies to poultry, to very small fish (“fingerlings”) in aquaculture and to shrimps during the first growing periods.

When the basic building blocks for animal development are formed, insect flour is a superfeed. The products can be sold in the Business-to-business markets, in particular in Southeast Asia. The companies with the most interest in insect flour are manufacturers of specialized fish feed (Specialized Aquatic Feeds) and producers of specific products, such as food for young piglets and the first feed for newly hatched chicks.

Pet food producers (pet food industry) also belong to the target group. For example, insect protein is added to dog food, which then receives the hypoallergenic qualification.


Insect oil Chicken and pig feed producers enrich this with insect oil. Insect oil can be sold to them. For example, Coppens Diervoerders uses insect oil for this purpose, under the name Insecto teat. The considerations are:

  • Insects fit in the primal diet of rooting pigs
  • Insect oil is an easily digestible fast energy source
  • Insect oil helps in the fight against Streptococcal and Clostridial problems
  • Insect oil provides quality piglets in combination with the unique processing and the piglet feed program from Coppens.


2. Non-feed / non-food market: technical applications

  • Proteins have technical applications in adhesives, coatings and green chemicals. The market for these green materials is expected to grow in the coming years.
  • The fat of the BSF consists of 58% lauric acid (C12: 0). This has bactericidal and virus destroying properties. Lauric acid is found in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, babassu oil, cohune oil, tucum oil and the genetically manipulated laurate canola oil. It also occurs in breast milk, where it has antibacterial and antiviral properties. The insect oil can also serve as a substitute for palm oil in the production of biodiesel, and as a surfactant in ink, glue, detergent, cream, shower gel, shampoo, paint, detergent, toothpaste.
  • Chitin and chitosan are biodegradable, non-toxic, have antimicrobial activity and are well tolerated by the human and animal immune systems. Chitin and chitosan have an antifungal and virus killing effect. The substances therefore have enormous potential for applications in the biomedical world. Chitosan is also used in making biodegradable plastic. (Chitin must be converted to chitosan before it can be used as a raw material.) Makers of bioplastics are, for example, Difrax and Greenolution.
  • Chitin and chitosan have many options for creating new properties, functions and applications. This allows chitin and chitosan to be easily processed into gels, sponges, membranes, antibacterial coatings, beads, nano particles, nano fibers and nano composites for tissue engineering, wound dressing, drug delivery and biosensors.


The above is supported by a large number of scientific publications. We mention a few. (Clicking will automatically download the file to your device.)

Antimicrobial Peptides and Their Therapeutic Potential for Bacterial Skin Infections and Wounds

Detection of antimicrobial substances from larvae of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae)

A novel approach to the antimicrobial activity of maggot debridement therapy

Exploring the potential of lipids from black soldier fly: New paradigm for biodiesel production

Bioconversion of dairy manure by black soldier fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) for biodiesel and sugar production

From organic waste to biodiesel: Black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens, makes it feasible

Direct transesterification of black soldier fly larvae ( Hermetia illucens ) for biodiesel production

Double the biodiesel yield: Rearing black soldier fly larvae, Hermetia illucens, on solid residual fraction of restaurant waste after grease extraction for biodiesel production