Susmitha Oliviani Cahyaningrum, a student at the UGM Faculty of Animal Science, has been selected as the Best Researcher in the Indofood Riset Nugraha (IRN) Program for 2022-2023.
Cahyaningrum emerged as the winner after competing with 65 students from 39 universities in Indonesia.
She explained that this award was based on assessments covering five aspects: research implementation, research quality, presentation techniques, mastery of material, and the researcher’s attitude. The award ceremony took place online in October 2023.
“The IRN Program has been around since 2006 to assist students in their final projects by providing funding,” she said at the Faculty of Animal Science on Wednesday (November 29).
The IRN Program for 2022-2023 focused on functional food research based on local potentials and wisdom.
In line with this theme, she researched the use of black soldier fly larva (BSFL) oil in the development of functional food for poultry under the guidance of Dr. Muhsin Al Anas.
This research was motivated by public concerns about food products such as meat that could cause cardiovascular diseases due to high-fat content. BSFL oil was developed into a feed additive for broiler chickens using calcium saponification.
“Supplements made from BSFL oil can be a source of medium-chain fatty acids such as lauric acid. Adding lauric acid in feed can help increase fat lipolysis activity, suppress meat cholesterol biosynthesis, and influence the meat’s fatty acid profile,” explained Cahyaningrum.
The research was conducted in vivo using broiler chickens to obtain adequate and efficient doses in reducing fat and cholesterol levels without affecting the fatty acid content that determines the quality of the meat.
The results showed that broiler chicken meat given BSFL oil supplements had lower fat and cholesterol content. This was supported by molecular data, which also showed a decrease in the expression of several essential genes involved in fat and cholesterol metabolism.
Cahyaningrum is now pursuing her master’s education through a fast-track program with a scholarship. Her further research will involve testing broiler chicken meat on mice.
“This data will provide comprehensive information on the impact of consuming meat produced from chickens given BSFL oil feed supplements on the body’s fat and cholesterol metabolism,” she explained.
Author: Agung Nugroho