Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Insects to feed the world conference 2018
Tomberlin, J.K. ; Zheng, L. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2018
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 4 (2018)2. - ISSN 2352-4588 - p. 75 - 76.
Efficient co-conversion process of chicken manure into protein feed and organic fertilizer by Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera : Stratiomyidae) larvae and functional bacteria
Xiao, Xiaopeng ; Mazza, Lorenzo ; Yu, Yongqiang ; Cai, Minmin ; Zheng, Longyu ; Tomberlin, Jeffery K. ; Yu, Jeffrey ; Huis, Arnold van; Yu, Ziniu ; Fasulo, Salvatore ; Zhang, Jibin - \ 2018
Journal of Environmental Management 217 (2018). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 668 - 676.
Chicken manure reduction rate - Feed stuff - Functional bacteria - Hermetia illucens L. larvae - Organic fertilizer - Waste management
A chicken manure management process was carried out through co-conversion of Hermetia illucens L. larvae (BSFL) with functional bacteria for producing larvae as feed stuff and organic fertilizer. Thirteen days co-conversion of 1000 kg of chicken manure inoculated with one million 6-day-old BSFL and 109 CFU Bacillus subtilis BSF-CL produced aging larvae, followed by eleven days of aerobic fermentation inoculated with the decomposing agent to maturity. 93.2 kg of fresh larvae were harvested from the B. subtilis BSF-CL-inoculated group, while the control group only harvested 80.4 kg of fresh larvae. Chicken manure reduction rate of the B. subtilis BSF-CL-inoculated group was 40.5%, while chicken manure reduction rate of the control group was 35.8%. The weight of BSFL increased by 15.9%, BSFL conversion rate increased by 12.7%, and chicken manure reduction rate increased by 13.4% compared to the control (no B. subtilis BSF-CL). The residue inoculated with decomposing agent had higher maturity (germination index >92%), compared with the no decomposing agent group (germination index ∼86%). The activity patterns of different enzymes further indicated that its production was more mature and stable than that of the no decomposing agent group. Physical and chemical production parameters showed that the residue inoculated with the decomposing agent was more suitable for organic fertilizer than the no decomposing agent group. Both, the co-conversion of chicken manure by BSFL with its synergistic bacteria and the aerobic fermentation with the decomposing agent required only 24 days. The results demonstrate that co-conversion process could shorten the processing time of chicken manure compared to traditional compost process. Gut bacteria could enhance manure conversion and manure reduction. We established efficient manure co-conversion process by black soldier fly and bacteria and harvest high value-added larvae mass and biofertilizer.
Insects as Human Food
Huis, Arnold van - \ 2018
In: Ethnozoology Animals in our Lives / Alves, Romulo Romeu Nobrega, Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino, Elsevier Inc. Academic Press - ISBN 9780128099131 - p. 195 - 213.
Arthropods were an important food source for early hominids. They still are in tropical countries, where about 2000 species are consumed as a sustainable source of food, contributing to food security. Most species are harvested from nature depending on the season, and only some are semidomesticated or farmed. Throughout history local people have developed an intricate knowledge about these species which is reflected by the way how arthropods are harvested and prepared as food. Whether or not some arthropod species are eaten depends not only on taste and nutritional value but also on customs, ethnic preferences, or prohibitions. Its promotion deserves more attention both from national governments and development agencies.
Can diets containing insects promote animal health?
Gasco, L. ; Finke, M. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2018
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 4 (2018)1. - ISSN 2352-4588 - p. 1 - 4.
Triggering regime change: A comparative analysis of the performance of innovation platforms that attempted to change the institutional context for nine agricultural domains in West Africa
Hounkonnou, Dominique ; Brouwers, Jan ; Huis, Arnold Van; Jiggins, Janice ; Kossou, Dansou ; Röling, N.G. ; Sakyi-dawson, Owuraku ; Traoré, Mamoudou - \ 2018
Agricultural Systems 165 (2018). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 296 - 309.
The article synthesises the experiences of innovation platforms (IPs) that engaged in open-ended experimental action to improve the institutional context for smallholder farm development in West Africa. The IPs sought change at the level of the institutional regime covering an entire agricultural domain (such as cocoa, cotton, oil palm or water management). Their purpose was therefore not to ‘roll out’ farm-level technologies across rural communities. The IPs's outcomes were documented and analysed throughout by means of theory-based process tracing in each of seven of the nine domains in which regime change was attempted. The evidence shows that by means of exploratory scoping and diagnosis, socio-technical and institutional experimentation, and guided facilitation IPs can remove, by-pass, or modify domain-specific institutional constraints and/or create new institutional conditions that allow smallholders to capture opportunity. The article describes the 5-year, €4.5 million research programme in Benin, Ghana and Mali, covering theory, design, methods and results. It is the sequel to Hounkonnou et al. in AGSY 108 (2012): 74–83.
New sources of animal proteins : Edible insects
Huis, A. Van - \ 2017
In: New Aspects of Meat Quality / Purslow, Peter P., Elsevier Inc. Academic Press - ISBN 9780081005934 - p. 443 - 461.
Edible insects - Entomophagy - Insects as food and feed - Meat alternatives - Sustainable diets
As the land currently available for livestock is not enough to satisfy the growing demand for meat, insects are proposed as an alternative protein source. Examples of insect consumption are given from the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Nigeria. It is argued that edible insects may qualify as a product with both an ecolabel and an animal welfare label. Concerning their nutritional value, it is difficult to generalize with the more than 2000 insect species eaten, but proteins, fatty acids, and micronutrients are discussed. The main food safety risk of edible insects relates to contamination, in particular when insects are reared on organic side streams. The best strategies to promote insect consumption are: to give people a tasting experience and to incorporate the insects unrecognizably into familiar products. Considering the recent interest worldwide by the academic world and private enterprise in insects as food and feed, it has the potential to become an important sector in the food and agriculture industry.
The potential of insects as food and feed
Huis, A. van; Tomberlin, J.K. - \ 2017
In: Insects as food and feed: from production to consumption / van Huis, A., Tomberlin, J.K., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862962 - p. 25 - 59.
Future prospects of insects as food and feed
Huis, A. van; Tomberlin, J.K. - \ 2017
In: Insects as food and feed: from production to consumption / van Huis, A., Tomberlin, J.K., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862962 - p. 430 - 445.
Introducing small production systems for edible insects
Huis, A. van - \ 2017
In: Insects as food and feed: from production to consumption / van Huis, A., Tomberlin, J.K., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862962 - p. 96 - 99.
Consuming insects : Are there health benefits?
Roos, N. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2017
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 3 (2017)4. - ISSN 2352-4588 - p. 225 - 229.
How healthy are insects? This is a highly relevant question in view of the global interest in the potential of insects as a sustainable food source in food systems and diets. Edible insects, like other foods, can provide nutrients and dietary energy to meet the requirements of the human body as a part of a varied diet. They also have the potential to provide bioactive compounds that have health benefits beyond simple nutritional values, as is the case for other food groups such as fruits and vegetables. Various recent studies have indicated such bioactivity in different insect species. The enormous number of edible insect species may be a source of novel bioactive compounds with health benefits addressing global health challenges. However, any identified health benefits need to be confirmed in human studies or in standardised assays accepted in health research prior to making health claims.
Edible insects : Marketing the impossible?
Huis, A. van - \ 2017
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 3 (2017)2. - ISSN 2352-4588 - p. 67 - 68.

Is it an impossible task to convince consumers to eat insects? This does not only apply to western consumers who are less familiar with this food habit than consumers in tropical countries. In the tropics too, many people do not consume insects, even though they are easier to collect as food than in temperate zones. Until recently in the western world, eating insects was considered a peculiar tropical food habit and the term 'entomophagy' was coined. How to motivate consumers to substitute meat with insects? One strategy is to stress the low environmental impact of insect products compared to meat, in particular beef. Or is this, considering our appetite for meat, an inconvenient truth? Is stressing environmental sustainability enough to raise consumers' interest to consume insects? Probably not, as tastiness is valued high and crucial. However, even a positive sensory experience when consuming insects should be accompanied by external factors such as availability, convenient pricing and a conducive social environment.

Edible insects and research needs
Huis, A. van - \ 2017
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 3 (2017)1. - ISSN 2352-4588 - p. 3 - 5.
The recent research interest is illustrated by the many refereed articles that appeared during the last years. Only in 2016, there were 47 articles listed in Web of Science (consulted 15 February 2017) when using ‘edible insects’ compared to only 25 during the entire five-year period 2006-2010. At the start of 2017 there are close to 200 start-up companies worldwide ( In 2016, a number of organisations made predictions about how the global edible insect market will grow. With an increased interest, what are the research challenges ahead of us? Where should we be focussing on? What are the bottlenecks to be solved to make it a viable sector?
Did early humans consume insects?
Huis, A. van - \ 2017
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 3 (2017)3. - ISSN 2352-4588 - p. 161 - 163.
The environmental sustainability of insects as food and feed. A review
Huis, Arnold van; Oonincx, Dennis G.A.B. - \ 2017
Agronomy for Sustainable Development 37 (2017)5. - ISSN 1774-0746 - 14 p.
Climate change - Edible insects - Environmental impact - Feed conversion efficiency - Insect farming - Life cycle analysis - Overharvesting - Pollution

With a growing world population, increasingly demanding consumers, and a limited amount of agricultural land, there is an urgent need to find alternatives to conventional meat products. Livestock production is, moreover, a leading cause of anthropogenic-induced climate change. To mediate this, more sustainable diets are needed, with reduced meat consumption or the use of alternative protein sources. Insects are promoted as human food and animal feed worldwide. In tropical countries, edible insects are harvested from nature, but overexploitation, habitat changes, and environmental contamination threaten this food resource. Therefore, sustainable harvesting practices need to be developed and implemented. We provide examples of (1) aquatic insects whose populations are threatened by pollution, (2) caterpillar species in Africa that are disappearing due to overexploitation and habitat change, (3) edible insects species that are considered pests in agro-ecosystems, and (4) edible insect species that can be conserved and enhanced in forest management systems. Insect farming can be conducted either on small-scale farms or in large-scale industrialized rearing facilities. We review the environmental sustainability of insect farming compared to livestock production. The major environmental advantages of insect farming compared to livestock production are as follows: (1) less land and water is required; (2) greenhouse gas emissions are lower; (3) insects have high feed conversion efficiencies; (4) insects can transform low-value organic by-products into high-quality food or feed; and (5) certain insect species can be used as animal feed or aqua feed. For instance, they can replace fish meal, which is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. However, edible insect species intended for production should be screened for risks to humans, animals, plants, and biodiversity.

Insects as food and feed: from production to consumption
Huis, Arnold van; Tomberlin, Jeffery K. - \ 2017
Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Press - ISBN 9789086862962 - 447
Alternative protein sources are urgently required as the available land area is not sufficient to satisfy the growing demand for meat. Insects have a high potential of becoming a new sector in the food and feed industry, mainly because of the many environmental benefits when compared to meat production. This will be outlined in the book, as well as the whole process from rearing to marketing. The rearing involves large scale and small scale production, facility design, the management of diseases , and how to assure that the insects will be of high quality (genetics). The nutrient content of insects will be discussed and how this is influenced by life stage, diet, the environment and processing. Technological processing requires decontamination, preservation, and ensuring microbial safety. The prevention of health risks (e.g. allergies) will be discussed as well as labelling, certification and legislative frameworks. Additional issues are: insect welfare, the creation of an enabling environment, how to deal with consumers, gastronomy and marketing strategies. Examples of production systems will be given both from the tropics and from temperate zones.
Cultural significance of termites in sub-Saharan Africa
Huis, Arnold van - \ 2017
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 13 (2017)1. - ISSN 1746-4269
Entomophagy - Ethno-entomology - Ethno-medicine - Folklore - Religion - Superstition - Termite mounds - Witchcraft
Background: The number of termite species in the world is more than 2500, and Africa with more than 1000 species has the richest intercontinental diversity. The family Termitidae contains builders of great mounds up to 5 m high. Colonies are composed of casts: a queen, a king, soldiers and workers. Some species of termite cultivate specialised fungi to digest cellulose. Termites constitute 10% of all animal biomass in the tropics. The purpose of the study was to make an overview of how termites are utilized, perceived and experienced in daily life across sub-Saharan Africa. Method: Ethno-entomological information on termites (Isoptera) in sub-Saharan Africa was collected by: (1) interviews with more than 300 people from about 120 ethnic groups from 27 countries in the region; (2) library studies in Africa, London, Paris and Leiden. Results: Vernacular names relate to mounds, insects as food, the swarming, and the behaviour of termites. Swarming reproductive, soldiers and queens are collected as food. There are many different ways to harvest them. Termites can also be used as feed for poultry or as bait to catch birds and fish. The mushrooms that grow each year from the fungus gardens on the termite mounds are eaten. The soldiers, the fungus gardens and the soil of termite mounds are used for multiple medicinal purposes. Mounds and soil of termites have numerous functions: for geochemical prospecting, making bricks, plastering houses, making pots, and for storage. Termite soil is often used as fertilizer. The act of eating soil (geophagy) among women, especially those that are pregnant, is practised all over Africa. The mounds can serve as burying places and are often associated with the spiritual world, especially containing the spirits of ancestors. Termites also play a role as oracle, in superstitious beliefs, in art and literature. Conclusion: The following characteristics make termites so appealing: the dominance in the landscape, the social organization, the destructive power, and the provision of food. The study shows that termites play a major role in peoples' lives, in physical as well as spiritual aspects.
Huis, A. van - \ 2016
In: Savoureux insectes / Motte-Florac, Elisabeth, Le Gall, Philippe, Presses Universitaires de Rennes - ISBN 9782753551428 - p. 7 - 10.
Edible Insects : A Neglected and Promising Food Source
Huis, A. van; Dunkel, F.V. - \ 2016
In: Sustainable Protein Sources / Nadathur, Sudarshan R., Wanasundara, Janitha P. D., Scanlin, Laurie, Elsevier Inc. Academic Press - ISBN 9780128027783 - p. 341 - 355.
Edible insects - Entomophagy - Environment - Ethno-entomology - Food security - Insect products - Insects as food - Nutrition - Protein source - 016-3980

The interest in insects as human food in the Western world is increasingly considered as a viable alternative to other protein sources. In tropical countries it is common practice and about 2000 insect species are eaten. Insects emit low levels of greenhouse gases, need little water, and require limited agricultural land. Their protein content is similar to conventional meat, the level of unsaturated fatty acids is high, and they are a good source of B vitamins and minerals like zinc and iron. Promoting insect consumption requires the farming of the insects. In the Western world, consumer acceptability will relate to pricing, perceived environmental benefits, and the development of tasty insect-derived protein products, such as cricket bars. The main food safety issue, like seafood, seems to be allergies, which can be addressed by labeling. As insects were until recently not considered food, legislation lags behind and needs urgent attention. Edible insects have high potential to contribute to a more sustainable and socially more equitable global food security.

Innovation platforms and projects to support smallholder development - Experiences from Sub-Saharan Africa
Jiggins, J.L.S. ; Hounkonnou, Dominique ; Sakyi-Dawson, Owuraku ; Kossou, Dansou ; Traoré, Mamoudou ; Röling, N.G. ; Huis, Arnold van - \ 2016
Cahiers Agricultures 25 (2016)6. - ISSN 1777-5949
Agro-enterprises - Innovation platforms - Institutional change

Innovation as a policy goal, normative practice, and a conceptual framing of purposeful human activity, has received increasing attention. The question of what kinds of purposeful innovation might benefit smallholders in developing countries has been raised. This issue presents and analyses the work of Innovation Platforms (IPs) established by the COS-SIS (Convergence of Sciences-Strengthening Innovation Systems) programme in nine agro-enterprise domains in West Africa, drawing on Theory Guided Process Inquiry data recorded through 2011-end 2013. Six papers synthesise individual IP experiences, complemented by a cross-case analysis of external influences on the IPs and their responses, a reflection on how well the IPs in Mali dealt with local conflicts, and an analysis of how the work of the IPs in Ghana led to changes in university curricula and in the researching practices of three leading agricultural institutes. An analysis of thirteen case studies from Kenya, Benin, and South Africa supported by the JOLISAA (Joint learning in and about Innovation Systems in African Agriculture) programme, adds further insights. Five general lessons are drawn, expressed as propositions that can be further tested against others' experiences: (i) IPs can bring about significant socio-technical and institutional changes at a range of levels, and in a wide variety of agro-enterprise domains and contexts; (ii) the IPs are not isolated from nor independent of the networks of influence in which they are embedded; thus they cannot be treated as the sole causal agents of the changes accomplished; (iii) research that tracks the IPs' work and performance provides evidence that enables the members to learn from experience and adjust activities in the light of effects; (iv) there is no blueprint for what an IP is nor a recipe for the processes by which such changes are brought about; the form, activities, and changes co-evolve with whatever is happening in the wider context; (v) field-based diagnosis of opportunity, evidence-based information-sharing and experimental exploration of pathways of change establish the legitimacy and influence of IPs.

Introduction. Why focus on innovation systems : implications for research and policy
Francis, J.A. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2016
In: Innovation systems / Francis, J., Mytelka, L., van Huis, A., Röling, N., Wageningen : The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) - ISBN 9789290815617 - p. 8 - 13.
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