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The black soldier fly: A fascinating insect with diverse potential

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The world of insects is fascinating and holds many secrets. One of the most notable creatures in this realm is the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens). In recent years, this species of fly has attracted worldwide attention due to its versatile properties and sustainable potential.

Black soldier fly

The black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens or Black Soldier Fly) is a species originally from South America. Today it can be found worldwide and occurs in temperate climates in America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

It gets its name from the color of its fly life cycle, which is black with metallic reflections.

Compared to other insects, such as the mealworm, the black soldier fly has some unique characteristics that make it a promising resource. In this article we will take a closer look at what defines the black soldier fly and why it may be preferred as an alternative within insect species.

Life cycle

The black soldier fly is a species of fly found in many parts of the world. It has a short lifespan of around 5 to 8 weeks. Their extraordinary life cycle and remarkable ability to produce larvae make them a unique species of insect.

The larvae of the soldier fly are used for protein utilization because they can be used 100% of the time. The larvae are characterized by a yellowish color and a size of up to 2 cm. They are extremely robust and can even survive for several days at low temperatures.

Through so-called defensins, the larvae have a kind of antibiotic of their own, which enables the larvae to utilize all residues without any health problems. Because of these defensins, our fresh larvae have an antimicrobial effect when fed.

Sustainable breeding and feeding

Conventional meat production puts a strain on our environment in many ways. Raising beef, pork & poultry produces large amounts of greenhouse gases, uses vast amounts of water and contributes to deforestation. In contrast, insects use fewer resources and produce fewer greenhouse gases during the fattening phase. It can be grown in large quantities and in small spaces by growing vertically. To do this, individual mast boxes are stacked on top of each other and save production space.

There are different types of insects that are used for insect food such as mealworms, crickets or silkworms. Among the different species, the soldier fly larva has even more advantages in terms of sustainability, as it can be 100% recycled and fed with any vegetable residues and organic waste, such as leftovers from the food industry. This not only enables efficient waste disposal, but also creates a high-quality insect protein as a byproduct.

The black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) is a species originally from South America. However, it is now bred all over the world and has therefore also become a source of protein in German agriculture. Insects love to live in crowds, so factory farming is not a factor. In contrast to usual factory farming, insect breeding takes place free of antibiotics and growth hormones.

Soldier fly larva breeding

Nutrient-rich protein

Black soldier fly larvae are an excellent source of protein. They have a high protein content, which is very close to conventional meat, and also contain essential amino acids in optimal ratios. This makes them a top choice for animal feed and human nutrition. Here is an overview of the essential nutritional values ​​of the larva:

Nutritional values Insect larva, live Insect meal, dried
Crude protein (Nx6.25) 15.8% 56.3%
Crude fat 8.4% 12.9%
Raw ash 1.8% 7.2%
Crude fiber 2.3% 9.1%
Calcium 0.2% 0.8%
phosphorus 0.3% 1.0%

Environmentally friendly recycling

The black soldier fly helps reduce organic waste by converting it into high-quality biomass. In comparison, mealworms cannot process organic waste as efficiently or in large quantities. The soldier fly larvae convert the organic waste into high-quality compost and valuable insect fat , which can be used as a sustainable alternative to vegetable and animal oils.

Other areas of application

The black soldier fly not only offers a sustainable source of protein, but also other interesting products. Their insect fat, extracted by pressing the dried larvae, offers a regional alternative to coconut or palm oil due to a similar fatty acid pattern.
The larvae also have the unique ability to convert these residues such as old fruits and vegetables into environmentally friendly products such as this natural fertilizer. To do this, the food and the feces are separated from the larvae. This innovative natural fertilizer ensures a balanced and sustainable fertilizing effect . Its valuable nutrients and ingredients promote optimal plant growth. The high organic matter content improves the formation of humus, activates soil life, and offers excellent water storage capacity.


The black soldier fly is undoubtedly a fascinating insect with great potential. Their sustainable breeding, ability to utilize organic waste, and nutrient-rich protein make them a superior alternative to the mealworm. Its versatile use in various industries shows that the black soldier fly can be a promising solution to the challenges of sustainable development - which is why we use it as the only source of animal protein.


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