Although they represent only a small portion of the overall poultry diet, liquid dietary fats make an important contribution to poultry nutrition, especially for broilers.
Poultry require significantly different amounts of energy at different stages of their development. Liquid fats can make up 5 percent of the compound feed of birds beyond five days of age.
Vegetable oils have been extensively used in the feed of broilers to increase energy density, especially during the finishing period. They provide a concentrated source of energy and a rich source of essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins.
The dietary inclusion of oils, however, is limited by the risk of dietary oxidation. Additionally, because of the high cost of refined oils for use as a feed energy source, some oxidized oils, such as those recovered after industrial oil processing and frying waste oils, have been suggested as low cost potential alternatives to reduce feed cost.
In recent years, there has been much talk about introducing insects as a sustainable alternative source of protein and fat into animal feed. Insect oils, could be a valuabble alternative to vegetable oils in poultry feed.
Food supplements for poultry: insect oil
The use of insect oil (obtained from the process of protein extraction, in a similar way to the method in which fish oil is obtained) could represent a valid alternative to vegetable oils still used as protein supplements in the feeding of broilers.
Insect oil, such as that of Tenebrio molitor, Zophobas morio and Hermetia Illucens could replace soybean oil or palm oil in the feeding of broilers without compromising their growth performance and nutrient digestibility.
In this article, we will talk about the use of Balck Soldier fly oil.
The Black Soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) is an organism capable of converting the large amounts of otherwise polluting organic substrates in food or animal waste into edible proteins and fats during its growth.
Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) contain
- up to 40% protein rich in essential amino acids,
- more than 28% lipids and minerals such as Ca and P
Why is it preferable not to use whole larvae?
Black soldier fly larvae contain about 30% fat on dry matter.
A high fat content can be unfavorable, as it makes the product more susceptible to lipid oxidation. This results in an unpleasant taste and texture.
Further processing of the larvae into pellets or other processed products can be difficult, as high amounts of fat make industrial processing complicated.
How to make oil from soldier fly larvae?
Soldier fly oil is mechanically squeezed from dried larvae. Its oil is rich in lauric acid, which can have a positive impact on growth performance and gut health in fast-growing broilers. In fact, lauric acid is known for its antimicrobial effects on gut bacteria.
Mechanical extraction is performed using a screw press typically used in nut and seed oil extractions.
The screw press operates at 100°C, squeezing the fat from the larvae, separating the liquid part from the solid part. After further refining processes, two by-products are obtained: protein meal and liquid fat.
The main problem with the use of these oils is their difficult availability on the market.
We also discussed the use of spirulina as a supplement in chicken feed, IN THIS ARTICLE.
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