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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Sustainable production of yellow mealworm for protein food using low-value agricultural by-products

Chalat Santivarangkna1, Simone Kathrin Kriesemer2, Chama Inson3

1Mahidol University, Inst. of Nutrition, Thailand
2University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF), Germany
3Kasetsart University, Department of Entomology, Thailand


With continued population growth and increasing consumer demand for protein, the edible insect is considered sustainable protein food with low environmental impacts. Advantages of edible insects include a high feed-conversion efficiency of insects and the rearing on organic system, adding value to waste and decreasing environmental contamination. Compared to cattle, pigs, and poultry raising, insects emit relatively few greenhouse gases and little ammonia and require significantly less farm area and water. Some insects can convert agricultural waste or by-products into high-quality protein. The aim of this research is to assess the growth of yellow mealworm larvae (Tenebrio molitor L.) reared with 4 different diets based on vegetables and brans. The diets were rice bran, rice bran mixed with Chinese cabbage, wheat bran, and wheat bran mixed with Chinese cabbage. The yellow mealworm larvae grew healthily and had a life cycle of around 5-5.5 months. The full-grown larva fed on rice bran mixed with Chinese cabbage showed a significantly shorter larva stage than those of the larvae fed on rice bran, wheat bran mixed with Chinese cabbage, and wheat bran (12.53%, 16.71%, and 17.76% respectively). The survival rate of yellow mealworm larvae was non-significantly different (ranging from 53-76%), and the full-grown larva fed on rice bran mixed with Chinese cabbage and rice bran (71 g), and wheat bran (80 g) had similar yield per rearing tray as but they had a lower yield than wheat bran mixed with Chinese cabbage (131 g). The estimated production costs of the fresh yellow mealworm larvae range from 4,070 to 6,742 EUR per ton.

Keywords: Rice bran, sustainable protein food, Tenebrio molitor L., wheat bran, yellow mealworm

Contact Address: Chama Inson, Kasetsart University, Department of Entomology, Bangkok, Thailand, e-mail: chama_inson@hotmail.com

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