Production of black fly larvae. For what?
An experimental production of black fly larvae has appeared in the Minsk region. This is the first and so far the only project in Belarus for the disposal of organic waste using insects.
Even in Soviet times, scientists suggested using insects for processing. But it took decades to bring the idea to life. MLYN.BY discussed one of the environmentally friendly ways of processing food waste with Sergey Makarov, the author of the experimental production.
Waste into fertilizer
— Did you know that today supermarkets throw away up to 25% of products. The issue of food waste disposal is relevant for cafes and restaurants. These wastes contain a large amount of valuable nutrients, but due to poor quality and low palatability, they are unsuitable for either humans or most animals. Another thing is the black soldier fly (Stratiomyia chamaeleon). Her larva will eat everything that is given to her with great appetite, - says Sergey.
This method of waste disposal is unique in that they do not undergo mandatory mechanical grinding. The larvae of the black soldier fly themselves grind them into identical small particles in the process of eating and digesting. After the larvae extract all the nutrients from the mass of organic waste, the volume of residues will decrease by 50%. And the waste itself, in fact, is no longer such. They are a highly valuable and environmentally friendly fertilizer for plants - valuable compost or zoohumus.
Specialists and amateur gardeners know that traditional methods of composting waste take years until it is processed by microorganisms to a state suitable for soil application. Earthworms will speed up processing up to three months. But the larvae of the black soldier fly will cope with this task in only a week.
During growth, which is about 5 days, the larva processes five times more waste than it weighs itself. An average production can process 5 to 15 tons of organic waste per day. This produces 5 tons of larvae and 5 tons of zoohumus, which is not only an organic fertilizer, but also a soil conditioner, which can not only enrich the soil with nutrients, but also restore its fertility. Also, this zoohumus is very moisture-intensive and is able to absorb and retain a large amount of water for a long time.
An insect feeds an animal
These insects are of great value as fodder protein.
The entire life cycle of the black soldier fly is approximately 45 days, and most of this time the fly spends in the compost heap, where it diligently chews organic waste. Before turning into a chrysalis, the larvae must accumulate the maximum possible reserves of nutrients in their body, because the second half of their life they mate and lay eggs. And just the larvae of the black soldier fly are of interest as a source of protein, fat and other components for various uses.
Studies show that adult live black soldier fly larvae contain 65% moisture, 8% crude fat, 16% crude protein, and when dried, fat and crude protein are 23% and 45% respectively. It should be noted that the composition of the amino acid profile of black soldier larvae contains linolenic acid, as one of the forms of omega-3 fatty acids. But the most valuable thing is that the larvae contain a large percentage of methionine. It is an essential amino acid for protein structures, but most animals cannot synthesize it and obtain this amino acid exclusively from food.
Black soldier fly larvae are becoming increasingly popular as a protein-rich substitute for fishmeal and soy. For example, for broiler chickens, they can replace significant amounts of soy without any adverse effect on bird health.
Whole dry insects are a favorite treat for poultry and fish. Feed additives are used in professional animal husbandry, and entomological fat is used in cosmetology.
“The main advantage of the technology is its safety for the environment and humans,” emphasizes Sergey Makarov, the author of the experimental production. — For the last 10 years I have been creating technologies and companies for the industrial breeding of insects. These were crickets, mealworms, zofobas, many types of cockroaches and, of course, the black lion fly.
The black lion is not like the flies we are used to, it is more like a wasp. She has a poorly developed oral apparatus, so the adult only drinks, but does not eat. And doesn't annoy people. Its main task is to give offspring.
"Black Soldier" on guard
How difficult is it to set up a black soldier fly farm?
- There are no big problems. It will take several rooms and the creation of the necessary conditions for breeding insects. In the mother liquor, flies lay their eggs, the temperature here is not lower than 27-30 ° C, the humidity is not less than 65% and there is a special light. An interesting fact - flies mate only at dawn, and lay eggs in bright daylight. It will depend on how much the specialist has chosen the desired mode and spectrum of light whether the flies will be able to lay eggs or not. This is one of the most critical areas of production,” says Sergey.
Eggs are taken from the mother liquor every day and transferred to the incubator. Here the requirements for the microclimate are slightly different. The temperature should be high, around 39°C, humidity low. In the incubator, the eggs are placed in special small containers, where the larvae hatch from the eggs for three days. After that, they are grown for several more days and transferred to the main growth workshop, where they will process organic waste and grow actively.
In the main workshop, where the larva actively feeds and grows, it no longer needs to be heated, but, on the contrary, it should be cooled, since in the process of feeding and growth it releases a lot of heat. The temperature in the box with the larva can reach 80°C.