Francesco Boatta

My research is focused on developing sustainable alternative ingredients for animal feed. Although my education is in marine biology , during the last years I developed a strong interest in improve the nutritional profile of insect larvae for sustainable aquaculture and livestock farming, with particular regard to lipid composition and omega-3 content.

During my PhD at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam I will exploit the ability of housefly larvae to upgrade low quality material into a protein and lipid rich animal feed. The project has a threefold objective: to investigate the effect of abiotic conditions (e.g. temperature) on larval lipid uptake and nutritional profile, to study the lipid ontogenesis during the larval development and to set the foundations for a breeding program aimed at selecting houseflies individuals with traits of high interest for the animal feed industrial sector.

The results of this PhD project will deliver tools and methodologies for the development of insect larvae with tailored nutritional profiles as to represent sustainable sources of protein and lipids with a broad application in both the animal feed sector as well as in human nutrition.

This PhD is funded by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and is part of a larger project, which aims to reduce the environmental impact of the livestock industry as part of a circular economy.

Selected Publications

Link to full publication list in PURE

Other Links