PhD defence

Unravelling mycotoxin biotransformation by the black soldier fly and house fly

PhD candidate K (Kelly) Niermans MSc
Promotor JJA (Joop) van Loon HJ (Ine) van der Fels-Klerx
Co-promotor EF (Elise) Hoek PhD MSc
Organisation Wageningen University, Laboratory of Entomology

Tue 12 March 2024 13:30 to 15:00

Venue Omnia, building number 105
Hoge Steeg 2
6708 PH Wageningen
+31 (0) 317 - 484500
Room Auditorium


In recent years, larvae of insects such as the black soldier fly and housefly have emerged as promising alternatives for animal feed. These insects can be used to convert organic waste into high-quality protein and other nutrients. However, organic side-streams may contain naturally occurring toxins e.g. those produced by fungi (mycotoxins). Larvae of the black soldier fly contain diverse enzymes able to effectively biotransform mycotoxins. Importantly, mycotoxin accumulation did not occur in black soldier fly- and housefly-larvae reared on contaminated substrates. This finding suggests a promising role of these insect larvae as feed or food, even when grown on mycotoxin-contaminated sources. Additionally, it opens economically interesting opportunities by repurposing otherwise unsuitable substrates as feed for insects and the reared insects as feed for livestock and possibly for human consumption.