How to Develop Strategies to Use Insects as Animal Feed: Digestibility, Functionality, Safety, and Regulation

Jae-Hoon Lee1, Tae-Kyung Kim1, Ji Yoon Cha1, Hae Won Jang2, Hae In Yong3,*, Yun-Sang Choi1,**
Author Information & Copyright
1Korea Food Research Institute, Wanju 55365, Korea.
2Sungshin Women's University, Seoul 01133, Korea.
3Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea.
**Corresponding Author: Hae In Yong, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea, Republic of. E-mail:
**Corresponding Author: Yun-Sang Choi, Korea Food Research Institute, Wanju 55365, Korea, Republic of. E-mail:

© Copyright 2022 Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Mar 28, 2022; Revised: Apr 08, 2022; Accepted: Apr 11, 2022

Published Online: May 10, 2022


Various insects have emerged as novel feed resources due to their economical, eco-friendly, and nutritive characteristics. Fish, poultry, and pigs are livestock that can feed on insects. The digestibility of insect-containing meals were presented by the species, life stage, nutritional component, and processing methods. Several studies have shown a reduced apparent digestibility coefficient (ADC) when insects were supplied as a replacement for commercial meals related to chitin. Although the expression of chitinase mRNA was present in several livestock, indigestible components in insects, such as chitin or fiber, could be a reason for the reduced ADC. However, various components can positively affect livestock health. Although the bio-functional properties of these components have been verified in vitro, they show positive health-promoting effects owing to their functional expression when directly applied to animal diets. Changes in the intestinal microbiota of animals, enhancement of immunity, and enhancement of antibacterial activity were confirmed as positive effects that can be obtained through insect diets. However, there are some issues with the safety of insects as feed. To increase the utility of insects as feed, microbial hazards, chemical hazards, and allergens should be regulated. The European Union, North America, East Asia, Australia, and Nigeria have established regulations regarding insect feed, which could enhance the utility of insects as novel feed resources for the future.

Keywords: insect; animal feed; oil; protein; yield