In the insect rearing world, one of the largest challenges is finding a suitable diet media to raise insects on. In part, this is because there are a vast number of components to many diets, all of which vary in necessity according to the dietary needs of a particular species. These components can be broken down into a few categories such as:
Proteins: When broken down by the insect, proteins in the form of amino acids are redistributed to cells that allow for proper growth and regulation. Protein sources include ingredients such as casein, wheat germ, soy flour and yeasts.
Lipids: Lipids are used by an insect in many different forms in order to regulate hormones, build cells, transport nutrients, and store energy. Due to the varied needs of different classifications of insects, different forms of lipid may be more or less beneficial in a diet. Wheat germ oil and cholesterol are examples of vastly different, but important lipids.
Carbohydrates: Like the above components, high variability in specific insect nutritional needs create a demand in many carbohydrate sources. Certain insects cannot digest a particular carbohydrate, whereas others thrive on it. However, carbs are crucial sources of energy and material for the insect’s exoskeleton. Fructose and sucrose are two of such examples.
Vitamins and Minerals: Both organic vitamins and inorganic minerals help insects in maintaining cellular functions. A lack in either component will lead to nutritional deficiencies that often result in stunted growth or outright death. Formulations of these critical components can be found in ingredients such as Wesson’s salt mix (a mineral mixture) and USDA vitamin premix.
Other: Other ingredients take on different roles, such as preservatives and texturing agents. For example, sorbic acid will help keep microbes from contaminating an artificial diet. Agar, another common diet ingredient, allows a diet to keep form as an insect feeds while suspending nutrients for easy consumption.
All these ingredients and more help create the nutritional profile that many insects need to thrive in a laboratory setting. Our ingredients, here at Frontier Agricultural Services, are top quality solutions to the unique problems faced in inset rearing. We also sell species specific diets that have been formulated with those same high quality ingredients as a one stop solution to the dietary needs of a growing insect culture.
If ever in need of an ingredient or diet that is not listed in our catalog, please reach out to us at email@example.com. We are always looking for new partnerships in the development of a better insect rearing industry.