Insect Mass Production Technologies

J.A. Cortes Ortiz, A.T. Ruiz, J.A. Morales-Ramos, M. Thomas, M.G. Rojas, J.K. Tomberlin, L. Yi, R. Han, L. Giroud and R.L. Jullien, Chapter 6 - Insect Mass Production Technologies, In Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients, edited by Aaron T. Dossey, Juan A. Morales-Ramos and M. Guadalupe Rojas, Academic Press, San Diego, 2016, Pages 153-201, ISBN 9780128028568, (


Insects provide a very promising alternative for the future production of animal protein. Their nutritional value in conjunction with their food conversion efficiency and low water requirements make them a more sustainable choice for the production of food of animal origin. However, to realize their potential as a viable source of food for a growing human population, it is necessary to create the infrastructure for their production, processing, storage, distribution, and marketing, and to develop legislation for their use as food. But none of these steps become relevant unless we have the ability to produce insects in sufficient quantities to supply the potential demands for animal protein. In this chapter we present and describe the current technologies and state-of-the-art of insect production (farming) for feed and food. Nutritional requirements of insects are discussed with methods for developing and producing insect feed formulations. An example of a modern insect farm is presented describing mechanized and automated steps on multiple insect species production. Current methods for producing the yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.), the super worm (Zophobas morio Fab.), the housefly (Musca domestica L.), the soldier fly [Hermetia illucens (L.)], the house cricket (Acheta domesticus L.), and the greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella L.) are described in detail. And an extensive review of the equipment currently available for environmental rearing room control and process automation is presented and discussed.

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