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Life cycle inventory analysis of prospective insect based feed production in West Africa.

Roffeis, Martin and Almeida, Joana and Wakefield, Maureen and Valada, Tatiana and Devic, Emilie and Koné, N’Golopé and Kenis, Marc and Nacambo, Saidou and Fitches, Elaine and Koko, Gabriel and Mathijs, Erik and Achten, Wouter and Muys, Bart (2017) 'Life cycle inventory analysis of prospective insect based feed production in West Africa.', Sustainability., 9 (10). p. 1697.


While the concept of insect based feeds (IBFs) promises great potential, especially in developing countries, the sustainability performance of IBF production remains widely underexplored. Drawing on experimental data from rearing trials in West Africa, three different insect production systems were modelled ex-ante. The generic models served as a basis to analyse and compare the process performances of different IBF production systems using Musca domestica and Hermetia illucens reared on different substrates. The results show that the input efficiency in the production of IBF is largely determined by the quality of rearing substrates, the larval development time and the employed inoculation practises, i.e., the method by which eggs or larvae are added to rearing substrates. The H. illucens system ranked highest for conversion efficiency (substrate input per IBF output), but showed substantially higher inputs in labour, fossil energy and output of wastewater. M. domestica systems operated at lower conversion efficiencies, which resulted in higher outputs of residue substrates, together with higher emissions, land requirements, built infrastructure and water. By offering full disclosure of generic inventory data, this study provides data and inspiration for prospect research and development activities and offers a reference to future life cycle assessments (LCAs) on IBF.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Date accepted:16 September 2017
Date deposited:13 October 2017
Date of first online publication:22 September 2017
Date first made open access:13 October 2017

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