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Sat, Feb

Mealworms may turn infected wheat into cash

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The potential solution discovered by University of Saskatchewan researchers for producers stuck with unsellable fusarium-infected wheat may actually put cash in the farmers’ pockets and open up a new worm-based niche market in the feed industry.

“We want to help producers by making use of grain that is worth nothing and that no one knows how to dispose of safely,” said Fiona Buchanan, animal and poultry science professor.

The potential solution discovered by University of Saskatchewan researchers for producers stuck with unsellable fusarium-infected wheat may actually put cash in the farmers’ pockets and open up a new worm-based niche market in the feed industry.

“We want to help producers by making use of grain that is worth nothing and that no one knows how to dispose of safely,” said Fiona Buchanan, animal and poultry science professor.

Buchanan and her master’s student Carlos Ochoa have found that yellow mealworms can eat wheat infected with the fungus, whose mycotoxins are harmful. The worms remain unaffected after eating the grain, regardless of the level of mycotoxins which usually cause vomiting and abdominal pain in humans and affect the growth of livestock.

The fattened mealworms, the offspring of a flightless beetle, could be a new, nutritious source of protein for chickens or fish.

 

Continue reading at University of Saskatchewan.

Image via University of Saskatchewan.