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Who is the soldier fly and why did we choose it?

Updated: May 22, 2023

The #soldierfly is an intriguing insect species belonging to the family Stratiomyidae. It can be found in Europe, Asia, and North America. These flies have a unique appearance with a slender body and a prominent head.

During the day, adult soldier flies are active and often spotted near bodies of water like rivers and lakes. They primarily feed on plant leaves and flowers, while their larvae consume decaying organic matter such as rotting leaves and brushwood. The soldier fly plays a vital role in the ecosystem by aiding in organic matter decomposition and serving as a food source for various animals, including birds, spiders, and lizards.

While the commercial practice of breeding soldier flies for protein is not yet widespread, pioneering companies like Kinsect are developing breeding technologies for insect production, including the soldier fly.

Apart from their visual appeal, soldier flies possess notable nutritional properties. They are abundant in protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients, making them an excellent food source for birds, fish, and wild animals. Scientists are actively exploring the potential of soldier fly protein as an ingredient in animal feed, particularly for aquaculture.

The protein content of soldier fly larvae can vary depending on factors such as species, feeding, and rearing conditions. However, in general, soldier fly larvae are considered a high source of protein, often containing up to 60-70% protein, surpassing many traditional animal protein sources like meat or fish. Additionally, soldier fly larvae offer fats, vitamins, and minerals such as iron and zinc.

From a food safety perspective, soldier fly larvae have been consumed for centuries in various cultures worldwide and are considered safe for human consumption. It is crucial, however, to ensure that they are produced under hygienic conditions and undergo proper processing before consumption, as with any food product.

Raising soldier flies for animal feed is a sustainable practice due to their minimal space, food, and water requirements compared to traditional protein sources like fish or meat. Insects, including soldier flies, also have a lower environmental impact, making them an eco-friendly choice.

Furthermore, utilizing soldier flies for animal feed could contribute to reducing reliance on imported protein sources and enhancing food security.

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