Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities
Research project


AquaFly investigated insects as a possible safe and healthy ingredient in future feeds.

fish farming

Main content

AquaFly investigated insects as a possible safe and healthy ingredient in future feeds. Farmed Atlantic salmon need nutrients to cover their minimum requirements, and the goal is to find new sustainable ingredients that contribute with as much as possible with the nutrients the fish need. A main aim was to study the possibility to tailor insect meal as an ingredient in a sustainable feed, covering the nutrient requirements and secure production of robust fish. The marine omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are essential for fish health, and it was an aim in the project to optimize the fatty acid composition of insect lipids to contribute with omega-3 to cover the Atlantic salmon requirement.

Today, insect meal is produced from larvae of Black soldier fly with a protein composition that has been shown to be highly suitable for Atlantic salmon. In AquaFly we tested if black soldier fly can produce on marine seaweed as a substrate. Also the insects species Kelp fly, which naturally grow on marine seaweed, was investigated to produce safe and nutritious ingredients for fish feed. We have previously shown that insect meal is a good protein source for Atlantic salmon, which also may give environmental benefits. AquaFly studied in depth the impact on sustainability of using insects as feed ingredients for farmed Atlantic salmon. Sustainability was assessed in environmental, social and economical perspectives.

AquaFly identified possible risks by using insect raw materials for fish feed by documenting undesirable substances and pathogens in the whole production chain from the food for the insects, insect raw materials, fish feed and Atlantic salmon fillets. All feed ingredients may contain undesirable substances, and documentation of these are essential to evaluate food safety.