Deoxynivalenol (DON) Accumulation and Nutrient Recovery in Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Hermetia illucens) Fed Wheat Infected with Fusarium spp.

Gülsünoğlu Z., Aravind S., Bai Y., Wang L., Kutcher H. R., Tanaka T.

FERMENTATION-BASEL, vol.5, no.3, 2019 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/fermentation5030083
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the most significant causes of economic loss in cereal crops, resulting in a loss of $50-300 million for Canadian agriculture. The infected grain (containing Fusarium-damaged kernels (FDKs)) is often both lower in quality and kernel weight, and it may be unsuitable for human and animal consumption due to mycotoxin presence. However, it still contains a considerable amount of nutrients. A method to recover the nutrients without the mycotoxins should be beneficial for the agricultural economy. In this study, our objective was to examine recovery methods of the nutrients in relation to mycotoxin accumulation in the insect. The FDKs were fermented with Aspergillus oryzae and/or Lactobacillus plantarum (solid-state fermentation (SSF)). The SSF kernels were then provided to 50 young, black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) for 12 days. Weight gain, chemical composition, and mycotoxin bioaccumulation of BSFL and spent feed were evaluated. After 12 days of insect culture, the BSFL grew 5-6 times their initial weight. While the overall weights did not significantly vary, the proteins and lipids accumulated more in SSF FDK-fed insects. During the active growth period, the larval biomass contained deoxynivalenol (DON), a mycotoxin, at detectable levels; however, by day 12, when the larvae were in the pre-pupal stage, the amount of DON in the insect biomass was nearly negligible, i.e., BSFL did not accumulate DON. Thus, we conclude that the combination of BSFL and SSF can be employed to recover DON-free nutrients from FHB-infected grain to recover value from unmarketable grain.