Food Waste

FAO (2011) estimated that ‘roughly one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tonnes per year’. The value of the lost and wasted food has been estimated to be 750 billion US$ (The Economist, 2014). Most of it is vegetables (23%), followed by meat (21%), fruits (19%), and cereal (18%) (Figure 1). Besides, this loss and waste is associated with approximately 173 billion cubic meters of water consumption per year and 198 million hectares of cropland per year (Lipinski et al., 2013).

The use of side streams to grow insects is of course a very interesting option. Most considered as insects as feed are the black soldier fly and the house fly. The capacity to live on organic side streams seems to be somewhat larger for the black soldier fly. Both have quite different life cycles in which the advantage of the house fly is their tremendous reproductive capacity (Figure 2). However also other fly species such as the blow fly, Lucilia sericata, and face fly, Musca autumnalis, can be considered (Čičková et al., 2015). For insects for human consumption the yellow mealworm and crickets can also be grown on organic side-streams, in particular fruit and vegetable remains as well as dried distillers grains with solubles can be considered. An overview of these species grown on different types of organic side streams is given in Table 1. Also, a list is given of references indicating which insects species can be fed to pigs, poultry, to animals in general and to a number of fish species (Table 2). As alternatives for fish meal plant proteins (soya protein, corn gluten, pea meal and wheat gluten) have been and will probably continue to be the main choice when replacing fishmeal in aquaculture. However, these products have limitations due several nutritional drawbacks compared to fishmeal (Lock et al., 2015; Olsen and Hasan, 2012) particularly in diets for carnivorous species, which are not adapted to plant feed. Besides, there is a relative low content of proteins, the amino acid profile is unbalanced, and the fibre content is high. Anti-nutritional components are present, reducing digestion or absorption of nutrients, counteract the function of vitamins and may even induce toxicity. Plant proteins also compete with use for human consumption.

Figure 1
Global economic costs of food wastage (750 billion US$), by commodity, 2007 (The Economist, 2014).

Figure 2
Comparison of life histories (under optimum conditions) of some fly species used for biodegradation (Čičková et al., 2015).

Table 1
Insects Species Able to Convert Certain Types of Organic Waste Streams and References
Insect Species Organic Side Streams and References
Black Soldier Fly
  • Organic waste (Čičková et al., 2015; Diener et al.,2011b; Leong et al., 2015; Oonincx et al., 2015a; Pastor et al., 2015; Surendra et al., 2016)
  • Manure (Lalander et al., 2015; Li et al., 2011; Newton et al., 2005a; Oonincx et al., 2015b; Zhou et al., 2013); pig manure (Newton et al., 2005b; Wang et al., 2013); cattle manure (Liu et al., 2008; Myers et al., 2008; Rehman et al., 2017); chicken manure (Erickson et al., 2004; Sheppard, 1983; Sheppard et al., 1994); kitchen waste (Driemeyer, 2016)
  • Coffee pulp (Lardé, 1989, 1990)
  • Vegetables (Pineda Mejia, 2015; Rehman et al., 2017; Spranghers et al., 2016; Supriyatna et al., 2016)
  • Catering waste (Jeon et al., 2011; Spranghers et al., 2016; Zheng et al., 2012a,b)
  • Municipal organic waste (Diener et al., 2009, 2011a; Gabler, 2014)
  • Straw (Manurung et al., 2016; Nicks et al., 2003; Zheng et al., 2012a)
  • Dried distillers grains with soluble (Spranghers et al., 2016; Webster et al., 2015)
  • Sorghum and cowpea (Tinder et al., 2017)
House Fly
  • Organic waste (Čičková et al., 2015; Pastor et al., 2015; Ramos-Elorduy and Morales, 1989)
  • Manure (Shah et al., 2016); pig manure (Čičková et al., 2015; Roffeis et al., 2015; Wang et al., 2013; Zhang et al., 2012); poultry (El Boushy, 1991; Teotia and Miller, 1974); cattle (Hussein et al., 2017)
  • Municipal organic waste (Ocio et al., 1979)
Yellow Mealworm
  • Organic waste (Oonincx et al., 2015a)
  • Vegetables (Ramos-Elorduy et al., 2002; Van Broekhoven et al., 2015)
  • Dried distillers grains with solubles (Van BBroekhoven et al., 2015)
  • Organic waste (Oonincx et al., 2015a)
  • Vegetables (Caparros Megido et al., 2015; Miech et al., 2016)
  • Weeds (Miech et al., 2016
Cydia Pomonella
  • Waste water sludges (Brar et al., 2008)
Table 2
References of Insect Species Fed to Animal, and More Specifically Fed to Poultry and Pig as well as a Number of Fish, Molluscs and Crustacean Species
Insect Species Animal Species1 and References
General General (Kenis et al., 2014; Moon and Lee, 2015; Sánchez-Muros et al., 2016); poultry and pigs (Makkar et al., 2014; Veldkamp and Bosch, 2015, Veldkamp et al., 2012); fish (Barroso et al., 2014; Riddick, 2013, 2014; Tran et al., 2015)
  • Yellow mealworm (Tenebrio Molitor)
Poultry (Alhamidi, 2017; Ballitoc and Sun, 2013; Biasato et al., 2016; Bovera et al., 2015; De Marco et al.,2015; Islam and Yang, 2016; Loponte et al., 2017; Ramos-Elorduy et al., 2002); pigs (Jin et al., 2016); fish and shrimp :Ameiurus melas (Roncarati et al., 2015); Clarias gariepinus (Ng et al., 2001); Litopenaeus vannamei (Panini et al., 2017); Oreochromis niloticus (Sánchez-Muros et al., 2015); Pagellus bogaraveo (Laconisi et al., 2017)
  • Super mealworm (Zophobas)
Poultry (Islam and Yang, 2016)
  • Lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus)
Poultry (Despins and Axtell, 1995
  • Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens)
Poultry (Cullere et al., 2016; De Marco et al., 2015; Elwert et al., 2010; Gaffigan, 2017; Leiber et al., 2015; Loponte et al., 2017; oluokun, 2000); pigs (Baiocco et al., 2016); fish and shrimp: Cyprinus carpio var. Jian (Li et al., 2017); Dicentrarchus labrax (López, 2017; Magalhães et al., 2017); Ictalarus punctatus (Bondari and Sheppard, 1987); L. vannamei (Cummins Jr et al., 2017); Oncorhynchus mykiss (Sealey et al., 2011; St-Hilaire et al., 2007); Oreochromis aureus (Bondari and Sheppard, 1987); Salmo salar (Lock et al., 2015)
  • House Fly (Musca domestica)
Poultry (Adeniji, 2007; Hwangbo et al., 2009; Pieterse et al., 2013); fish and mollusc: Achatina spp. (Mbunwen et al., 2011); C. gariepinus (Aniebo et al., 2009; Arong and Eyo, 2017; Fasakin et al., 2003; Idowu et al., 2003; Kareem and Ogunremi, 2012); Heteroclarias (Ekelemu, 2015); O. mykiss (St-Hilaire et al., 2007); O. niloticus (Chenyambuga et al., 2017; Ogunjil et al., 206; Wang et al., in press)
  • Maggots (not specified; likely house fly)
General (Bouafou, 2011); poultry (Adesina et al., 2011; Akpodiete and Inoni, 2000; Awoniyi et al., 2003; Ncobela and Chimonyo, 2015; Téguis et al., 2002); fish: Clarias anguillaris (Madu and Ufodike, 2003)
Other Flies  
  • Asian latrine fly (Crysoma megacephala)
Fish: Oreochromis sp. (Sing et al., 2014); O. niloticus (Akhter, 2015)
  • Green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata)
Fish: Sparus aurata (De Haro et al., 2015)
  • Grasshopper, locust
Poultry (Adeyemo et al., 2008; Daudu et al., 2015; Longe et al., 2007; Ncobela and Chimonyo, 2015; Ojewola et al., 2005; Wang, 2007); pigs (Hemsted, 1947); fish: C. gariepinus (Alegbeleye et al., 2011)
  • House cricket (Acheta domesticus)
Poultry (Nakagaki et al., 1978); fish: C.gariepinus (Norhidayah, 2016)
  • Sitophilus zeamais
Poultry (López Vergé, 2013)
  • Silkworm
Poultry (Ijaiya and Eko, 2009; Ncobela and Chimonyo, 2015); pigs (Medhi et al., 2016); fish: C. gariepinus (Kurbanov et al., 2015)
  • Cirina butyrospermi
Fish: C. gariepinus (Anvo et al., 2016)
Isopteran (termites) Poultry (Munyuli Bin Mushambanyi and Balezi, 2002); fish: C. gariepinus (Arong and Eyo, 2017)
Dyctioptera (cockroaches) Poultry (Munyuli Bin Mushambanyi and Balezi, 2002)
1 Common names of fish, mollusc and crustaceaen species: Achatina spp. (African giant snail); A. melas (common catfish); C. anguillaris (catfish); C. gariepinus (African catfish); C. carpio var. jian (Jian carp); D. labrax (European seabass); Heteroclarias (hybrid of C.gariepinus x Heterobranchus bidorsalis); I. punctatus (channel catfish); L. vannamei (Pacific white shrimp); O. mykiss (rainbow trout); Oreochromis sp. (red tilapia); O.aureus (Blue tilapia); O. niloticus (Nile tilapia); P. bogaraveo (blackspot sea bream); S. salar (Atlantic salmon); S. aurata (gilthead sea bream).