Study: BSF meal improves survivability, yields and FCR in shrimp diets

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

Black Soldier Fly larvae © Nutrition Technologies
Black Soldier Fly larvae © Nutrition Technologies

Related tags: black soldier fly, shrimp, Fishmeal, Insect meal

A study led by Singaporean insect meal producer, Nutrition Technologies, found performance gains from partial substitution of fishmeal with BSF meal in shrimp diets.

The insect processing company just announced the results of the trial, which was conducted at the ShrimpVet research center in Vietnam from July to September 2021, using 1,400 whiteleg shrimp.

The purpose of this trial was to find the optimum inclusion rate of BSF meal to replace anchovy derived premium fishmeal, with minimal impact in terms of cost, said the company.

The best result came from a diet which had a 25% fishmeal replacement inclusion: a total 6.6% BSF meal, said the producer. This inclusion level, it said, led to a 14% higher survival rate, 17% higher live yield and a better feed conversion rate of 20%, when compared to the control diet.

The firm said the inclusion of its BSF meal in this treatment increased the total cost of the diet by 3.3%, but due to the improved performance, resulted in an overall shrimp feed that was 14.4% better value for money. 

When asked whether the results seen are repeatable in a commercial setting or in environments with multiple stressors, Tom Berry, Co-CEO of Nutrition Technologies, told FeedNavigator: "When we put the trial out to tender, we actively looked for third parties that could replicate commercial shrimp rearing conditions in our key markets, which is one of the main reasons we chose ShrimpVet in Vietnam. During the trials they mimicked Vietnam high-intensity shrimp farming practices with as similar conditions as possible in the tanks."

The research will be published in a peer reviewed journal in due course, he added. 

FCR survivability data from trial
Whiteleg shrimp trial data © Nutrition Technologies

The company said the BSF meal used in the trial - Hi​.Protein - was made in its new industrial production facility in Johor in Malaysia. “The insects were reared on 100% fruit and vegetable food wastes, which otherwise would have been disposed of in landfills. The insects were reared and processed in just over a week.”

Founded in 2015 by two British entrepreneurs, Nick Piggott and Tom Berry, Nutrition Technologies is headquartered in Singapore, with operating facilities in Malaysia. It has received total funding of US$16m to date.

Production optimized for tropical conditions 

Speaking to this publication back in March, following the closing of a US$5m funding round, Berry and his co-CEO, Nick Piggott, said the company’s vertical insect production system is optimized for the tropical conditions in Southeast Asia and uses bespoke automated equipment and industry 4.0 principles to ensure strict biosafety and high-quality standards. 

“When fully operational, our new plant will produce 16,000 tons of insect products per year, [12,000 tons of insect frass, 3,000 tons of insect meal and 1,000 tons of insect oils]. This will divert 80,000 tons of waste per year from landfills,”​ said Piggott then.

The company is also looking to establish new industrial scale plants in Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Additionally, it wants to set up an R&D center in Singapore to lead on innovation and connect with industry partners and investors.

The vision is production, eventually, of 500,000 tons a year of the company’s sustainable insect meal, branded as Hi.​Protein.

We aim to be a global leader in the insect space. Over the next 10 years we plan to build a large network of insect farms across the region, supplying a new high-quality insect meal to support the growth of aquaculture and livestock production in Asia,”​ said Berry.

NT Malaysia
The BSF meal producer's Malaysian operations © Nutrition Technologies

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