Silkworms are the only identiﬁed insects that provide food, ﬁber and biomedical signiﬁcance. Silkworm pupae are used as animal feed, organic fertilizer, food material, and traditional medicine in many countries.
Livestock and fish are important sources of protein in most countries. According to FAO (2006), livestock production accounts for 70 percent of all agricultural land use. With global demand for livestock products expected to more than double between 2000 and 2050 (from 229 million tons to 465 million tons), meeting this demand will require innovative solutions. The opportunity for insects to help meet rising demand in meat products and replace fishmeal and fish oil is very big.
As demand for meat rises, so too does the need for grain and protein feeds. This is because far more plant protein is needed for an equivalent amount of animal protein. Pimentel and Pimentel (2003) calculated that for 1 kg of high-quality animal protein, livestock are fed about 6 kg of plant protein. Insects are characterized by higher feed conversion rate and so can become a highly valuable source of feed for farm animals (2013 FAO study; Wageningen UR Livestock Research, 2012).
The percentages of total protein and lipid contents by dry weight are 55.6 and 32.2% respectively. Silkworm pupae protein had high levels of essential amino acids such as valine, methionine and phenylalanine. The contents of essential amino acids in silkworm pupae protein satisfied the FAO/WHO/UNU suggested requirements (2007).
AGRY_GAYA’18 Project will work with Mulberry silkworm pupae due to the following characterisitcs: amino acid composition in different types of silkworm pupae /Source Roa, Zhou et al., Longvah /
|Amino acid composition (g/100 g)||Mulberry silkworm pupae||Tasar silkworm pupae||Eri silkworm pupae|
|Total amino acids||102||89.8||94.8|
|Total essential amino acids||51.5||43.1||44.9|
After the Beetles, the Caterpillars are the most commonly consumed insects in the planet.
As well, there are some comparisons between crickets and silkworms: