Insect-based diets effects on turkey meat quality

Mitko Lalev1, Nadia Mincheva1, Magdalena Oblakova1, Pavlina Hristakieva1, Ivelina Ivanova1, Atanas Atanassov2 and Adelina Petrova3
1 Agricultural Academy, Agricultural Institute, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
2 Joint Genomic Center, Sofia University, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
3 ‘Nasekomo’ AD, 1715 Sofia, Bulgaria


Lalev, M., Mincheva, N., Oblakova, M., Hristakieva, P., Ivanova, I., Atanassov, A. & Petrova, A. (2021). Insect-based diets effects on turkey meat quality. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 27 (5), 980–989

Data on the effects of insect-based diets on turkey meat quality is limited. To address this, the current study aimed to assess the effects of 10% inclusion of insect meals from Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) and Silkworm (Bombyx mori) on turkey meat quality by analyzing physicochemical (pH, water holding capacity, cooking loss, color) and nutritional parameters (protein, amino acids, lipid and mineral content). Hybrid female turkeys at 56 day of age were divided into five dietary treatments: Control (soybean meal), Silkworm meal (SW), Silkworm meal with probiotic mix ‘Zoovit’ (SWpro), Black soldier fly defatted (BSFd) and Black soldier fly whole larvae (BSFw) meals. The experiment lasted for 74 days, from 56-130 days of a turkey’s age. Overall results suggest that 10% inclusion of insect meal have positive effects on turkey meat, especially on technical parameters, such as water holding capacity and cooking loss. Breast and thigh meat responded differently to the diets. Breast meat had significant physicochemical responses to the new diets (improved water holding capacity, cooking loss), but lacked nutritional – no change in protein, lipid, or mineral content. In contrast, in the thigh, both BSF diets increase the level of lipids and Iron. Insect diets also improve omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid levels. The applicability of the results is demonstrated by the fact that insect meals can alter turkey meat quality in a tissue-specific manner.

Keywords: Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens); Silkworm (Bombyx mori); insect-based diets; turkeys; feeding; meat quality

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