petgood veterinary team
Dr Nicky Sluczanowski
"The latest research shows that the protein meal from the H. illucens larvae (Black Soldier Fly Larvae or BSFL) has a high amino acid content and a high digestibility of the amino acids, making this a very high-quality protein source.” - Nicky Sluczanowski
Research on insects in pet food
Petgood x research
We are happy to be a part of research and paving the way for insect-based pet food. That is why we are working closely together with Wageningen University & Research on a research project to further unlock nutritional benefits of insect-based pet food. We promise to tell you more as soon as we can about this exciting project!
Which insect is used and why?
Petgood’s insect-based products are based on only one animal protein source, insect protein. The insect species used is the larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia Illucens).
There are several reasons why the larvae of the black soldier fly was chosen as the basis for our diets.The larvae are incredibly nutritious and are rich in protein, essential amino acids and beneficial fatty acids. They are resistant to diseases and have a naturally fast growth, which means that antibiotics, pesticides or growth hormones never need to be used in production. Insect protein is also sustainable as it requires significantly less resources in the form of feed, land and water to produce the same amount of protein, and causes lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to more traditional protein sources.
The species is globally spread and is not considered a pest or potential disease vector. The larvae of the black soldier fly is a species controlled and approved for consumption by both humans and domestic animals in the EU.
Click here to read more about how insects are farmed
Click here to read more about the sustainability aspects of insect protein
Is there research on the larvae of the black soldier fly?
Long before insect-based products were launched on the market, research began to ensure the nutritional value and safety of these foods. Studies have had different focuses, where some have looked at the nutritional composition of the larva, others at how it as food affects various parameters of the animal that consumes it.
Nutritional value compared to the needs of the dog and cat
Studies that have evaluated the nutritional content of black soldier fly larvae have, among other things, analyzed the amino acid profile and compared it with the needs of dogs and cats. Other studies have looked at the digestibility of the individual amino acids, that is, how well the animal's digestive system can absorb them. The result is that black soldier fly larvae have a high amino acid content of essential amino acids (McCusker et al, 2014), and a high digestibility of individual amino acids (Bosch et al, 2016). If you want to dive deep and learn more about the insect protein and amino acid profile of our products, you can find an article about it here.
Safety and digestibility in cats and dogs
Digestibility is a measure of how much of a nutrient the body can absorb. Simplified, what you do is feed the animal with the protein, and then measure in faecal samples how much of the nutrient the animal has been able to absorb. Good digestibility of protein is considered to be above 80%, and the protein of black soldier fly averages around 85%, that is, a high digestibility (El-Wahab et al, 2021; Penazzi, 2021; Sungho, 2021; Yi hu 2020).
Other studies have looked at safety, that is, to evaluate whether the insect-based diet has an impact on parameters such as stool quality, blood values, coat quality or other clinical findings. The studies' conclusion is that the insect-based diet is safe, where participating animals have maintained good values and been healthy throughout the study, and no abnormality has been reported (Freel et al 2021; Kröger, 2020).
Full references are at the bottom of this page.
How are petgood's recipes developed?
Petgood's veterinary team together with animal nutrition specialists develop all recipes to ensure that the food meets and/or exceeds the nutritional recommendations issued by FEDIAF. Great focus is placed on ensuring that our recipes provide the best possible nutrition, and where possible help prevent disease and provide the best conditions for the animal's health. All our feeds are complete and balanced diets, which means that they meet all the nutritional needs of the dog or cat.
Health benefits of black soldier fly fats
Great news! Our scientific research article with insect farm Protix and the Technical University of Munich Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability is approved and published in the Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology.