A meta-analysis on the nutritional value of insects in aquafeeds
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Insects as Food and Feed. 2021, 7 (5), 743-759. 10.3920/JIFF2020.0147
A major challenge for development of sustainable aquafeeds is its dependence on fish meal and fish oil. Similarly, it is unwanted to include more plant ingredients which adds more pressure on resources like arable land, freshwater and fertilisers. New ingredients that do not require these resources but rather refine and valorise organic side streams, like insects, are being developed. Increasing evidence indicates that using insect ingredients in aquafeeds are a sustainable alternative and considerable progress has been made on this topic in the past years. The aim of this chapter is to present a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the data available on the impact of insects in aquafeeds. Systematic search, collection and selection of relevant literature from databases such as Web of Science and NCBI was performed. The literature search enabled 91 scientific papers from peer-reviewed journals, comprising a dataset of 415 experimental diets, including 35 different aquatic species and 14 insect species to be included in this meta-analysis, covering what we consider a close to complete representation of credible publications on this topic. Information on aquatic species, insect species, dietary composition (amino acids, fatty acids, proximate composition) and performance outputs (growth performance indicators and nutrient digestibility) were included in the construction of the dataset. Regression models and principal component analyses were performed on the meta-data. The results from the meta-analysis revealed a great degree of variation in the maximum threshold for insect inclusion in aquafeeds (from 4 to 37%) based on subgroups of trophic level of aquatic species, insect species used, statistical method and the output parameter. Overall, a maximum threshold of 25-30% inclusion of insects in aquafeeds for uncompromised performance is suggested. Reduction in protein digestibility, imbalanced amino acid profile and increasing levels of saturated fatty acid were identified as major factors limiting higher inclusion of insects in aquafeeds.