Evaluation of growth performance of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) larvae in the presence of supplemental organic material
Yellow mealworms, or the larval form of Tenebrio molitor, is a promising new source of alternative animal proteins for the food industry. These larvae can be raised on agricultural by-products and supplemental organic material such as fruits and vegetables. The objective of this experiment is to evaluate the growth rate of yellow mealworms when provided with an ad libitum supplemental diet of different fruits and vegetables in conjunction with a substrate of 50% brewer’s yeast in wheat bran. While no statistically significant correlation between weight gain, larval survival rate, and organic supplemental material was found, it was determined that a higher nutritional composition of organic supplements in regard to carbohydrates resulted in a higher weight gain, and the moisture levels of the organic materials provided contributed to larval deaths during the experiment.
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