08/2013, Finished R&D Projects

Development of a process for the oil removal of insects for novel feed stuff

  • funding program: ZIM (BMWi)
  • term: 01.08.2013 – 31.05.2015
  • project partner: HERMETIA Baruth GmbH

Initial position:

The growing demand of proteins in fish farming is covered mainly with fish meal. Therefore, increasingly fishery is done and causes overfishing of the fishing resources. To yield one kilogram breeding fish from aquaculture approximately four kilogram wild fish are needed, which is fed as fish meal or fish oil. To solve the problems of the aquaculture for a sustain-able future reasonable and counter the price development the search of alternative protein sources was reinforced and the research in aquaculture to find new feeding stuffs was intensified. Insects are a commercial interesting protein source that can be developed using biological residual materials. These proteins can be used for other applications than fish feed and it is possible to feed other farm animals too. The larvae of the black soldier fly are able to eat different biological valuable substrata. Thereby, the substrata are converted into compost, the larvae builds protein and fat. With the existent adding value potential the fabrication of high-quality compost and feeding stuffs from biological residual materials and byproducts offers a growing market. Dried and milled larvae are already used in a small amount in fish breeding. The high fat content of larvae (35%) constrains a broad usage. Compound feeding stuffs are always composed in animal breeding to supply the animals optimally in their particular stage of life. The process steps for fabrication of feeding stuffs mixing and pelletizing are restrained by the high fat content.


For the production of novel feeding stuffs a process needs to be developed to remove fat from the black soldier fly larvae to a residual fat content of <10%.


The feedstock, larvae of the Black Soldier Fly, was gently dried to moistures from 5% to 15%.
To keep the fat removing process cost-efficient the mechanical extraction with a press was chosen. By variation of material moisture, material temperature, press rotation and geometry of the presses the larvae were fat removed down to 9… 10 %. The results were validated with a small industrial scale press. The protein content of the mechanical extracted larvae was enriched to 57%. As result of the project a protein feed stuff was gained that is suitable for fish breeding and pet feeding.

The exploited fat was characterized and refined in several process steps at laboratory sale. The can be used e.g. for feed-ing stuffs, in cosmetics or as lubricant.

With the equipment acquisition of an oil-press the project results were utilized at the partner HERMETIA Baruth GmbH.
Contact Persons: Dr. Thomas Piofczyk, Gunter Fleck

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