Food from insect | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 09, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 09, 2012


Food from insect

The common house fly may provide an excellent source of protein for farming.

Common house flies (Musca domestica) may be a cheap and sustainable source of feed for farm animals, according to a scientist and an entrepreneur.
The flies, whose larvae can be bred, nurtured and ground into granules, provide roughly the same amount of edible protein as fish meal and other widely used protein sources, said entrepreneur Jason Drew.
Drew's book, The Story of the Fly and How it Could Save the World, launched in London, United Kingdom, last week, argues that the insect's larvae should be farmed commercially to provide protein for farmed fish and animals to feed the world's growing population.
Commercially bred flies can live on slaughterhouse or distillery waste, rather than on foods that could be processed and sold to humans, which also makes them environmentally sound, he said.
Drew and his brother David are breeding M. domestica to use in fish farms in their Cape Town business, AgriProtein.
Jason Drew told SciDev.Net that AgriProtein feeds its breeding stock waste human food, while the larvae produced consume slaughterhouse blood. It has taken five years to develop the larvae farming process. Around one million flies are kept in a cage of about 100 cubic metres producing about 1,000 eggs each.
The larvae are hatched and harvested within 17 days, which is how long they live before they turn into flies. They are then dried, flaked and sold as meal. Last month, the company produced 100 tonnes of wet larvae and 24.5 tonnes of feed, Drew told SciDev.Net.
AgriProtein is one of the first companies to produce high quantities of fly meal for commercial use, said Paul Vantomme, senior forestry officer for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, in Rome.

Source: SciDev.Net

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