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Thesis Defence: Evaluating the Environmental Performance of Black Soldier Fly Meal and its Potential Use as a Sustainable Feed Input in the Egg Industry – A Life Cycle Assessment
December 5 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Daniela Dominguez Aldama, supervised by Dr. Nathan Pelletier, will defend their thesis titled “Evaluating the Environmental Performance of Black Soldier Fly Meal and its Potential Use as a Sustainable Feed Input in the Egg Industry – A Life Cycle Assessment” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (Sustainability theme).
An abstract for Daniela Dominguez Aldama’s thesis is included below.
Defences are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Please email email@example.com to receive the Zoom link for this defence.
Feed production is responsible for a major share of the environmental burdens of egg production. Identifying alternative, low-impact feed resources is therefore a priority for sustainability management in this sector. Valorization of biomass waste via insect production represents a promising strategy to produce a low-impact and high quality protein source for feeds. Among insect species, black soldier fly (BSF) is a preferred option because of its higher feed conversion ratio and shorter growing cycle. In this context, the purpose of this study was to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the environmental performance of black soldier fly meal (BSFM) and to assess the sustainability potential of the use of BSFM as a feed input in Canadian egg production. Using a BSF commercial producer as a case study, the goal was to identify and evaluate opportunities to improve the environmental performance of the BFS products, as well as their potential to mitigate the environmental impacts of egg production when used in poultry feed. Different scenarios were evaluated based on varying scales of production, alternative technologies and energy sources, as well as use of alternative substrates for larvae rearing. This study also highlights the importance of properly differentiating the agri-food co-products and wastes that are used as substrates in other food supply chains or in waste valorization contexts, such as for insect production. In support of improved consistency, a decision tree was formulated to guide LCA practitioners on how to model and allocate these materials based on the ISO 14044 definitions and allocation requirements. The overall results of the LCA showed that producing BSF meal at commercial scale could have important environmental benefits and trade-offs for the Canadian egg industry, depending primarily on the composition of the insect diet and the use of the co-products from BSF production.