Fact sheet: Small-scale drying methods for black soldier fly larvae

  • 3 pages

  • Published: 22 Jun 2023

  • Author(s): C. J. Malcolm, J. M. L. Malcolm

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There is a growing interest in the valorisation of food waste using black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens L.; BSFL). This is largely due to its omnivorous diet, short life cycle and low environmental footprint compared with other protein production methods (EAWAG, 2019). Black soldier fly larvae are attractive as a source of protein and fat for stock, aquaculture and pet feed. The food safety of BSFL as a feed ingredient may be influenced by a range of factors, including the post-harvesting processing methods, i.e., sanitising, drying and defatting.

This fact sheet details the impact of four small-scale drying methods (low-temperature air drying, high-temperature oven drying, microwave drying and freeze drying) on BSFL to help small-scale producers. Each method is capable of effectively drying the larvae. However, small-scale producers may wish to consider the following factors before deciding which method to use: the quantity of larvae to be dried; the capital and operating costs of drying equipment; and the effect on the physical appearance of larvae.