How soldier fly larvae could reduce food waste

by David Bradley, Inderscience

Research published in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management has explored the use of Black Soldier Fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) to convert food waste from eateries into compost. While precise data on global food waste generation is elusive, it’s estimated that billions of tons are produced annually, much of which ends up in landfills, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing food waste is crucial for addressing global food insecurity and environmental impacts. However, unavoidable waste can be repurposed, with some suitable for biofuel production and much for composting. Researchers from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia have focused on the potential of soldier fly larvae in breaking down various types of cafeteria food waste, including uncooked food, general cooked food, and cooked vegetables.

The study found that these larvae could process all provided food waste within twelve days, with raw vegetable waste promoting the most significant growth. Although larval growth was slower with food waste compared to chicken guano, the research indicates a viable method for efficiently turning vegetable waste into compost materials. This approach presents an opportunity for more sustainable food waste management in the food service industry.

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