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Mugruk

Rendering fats from BSF larvae and red worms

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I have read that BSF larvae and worms are an excellent source of protein for tilapia, but contain too much fat, which can cause problems as the fish develop into adulthood (liver damage, breeding).

I'd like to be able to reduce the fat content of these livestock rations, as I am ardently against the use of fish meal, yet would like to achieve decent growth rates.

Has anyone attempted this with success?

I've read posts about a guy who tried chopping them up and boiling them, but wasn't able to render any fats from them.

Could an alternative simply be in not feeding the fish BSF larvae and worms too frequently and compensate with algae and duckweed?

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Hi Mugruk,

A US state university (Ohio I think) has done some trials with BSF larvae to produce bio-diesel. I think they just used a small (but powerful) press to extract the oil.

The guy you mentioned who attempted to render the fat from larvae may have got it wrong somehow because BSF larvae are around 35% fat.....so there should have been some fat at least.

Have you considered using housefly larvae (or similar) as an ingredient in your fish rations? Maggots are very high protein, have less fat than BSF and don't have the leathery indigestible exoskeletons that BSF do. They can also be produced in a shorter timeframe using very simple equipment.

In the wild, fish eat a variety of seeds, insects, small animals, leaves or grasses, duckweed, etc. It's a matter of reconciling these to make up a balanced ration.....and coming to terms with the fact that your fish will grow much slower than those on a proprietary ration.

Gary

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I think Gary still has the right idea, I just wanted to shed some light on the pressing idea. University of Idaho has done one batch of BSF biodiesel, and they just baked them a bit and pressed them in the same press they use to press their oilseeds. I'm not entirely sure how the pressing process goes, but I'm sure there's some material available online if you're interested.

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