Extraction and characterisation of protein fractions from five insect species

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Tenebrio molitor, Zophobas morio, Alphitobius diaperinus, Acheta domesticus and Blaptica dubia were evaluated for their potential as a future protein source. Crude protein content ranged from 19% to 22% (Dumas analysis). Essential amino acid levels in all insect species were comparable with soybean proteins, but lower than for casein. After aqueous extraction, next to a fat fraction, a supernatant, pellet, and residue were obtained, containing 17–23%, 33–39%, 31–47% of total protein, respectively. At 3% (w/v), supernatant fractions did not form stable foams and gels at pH 3, 5, 7, and 10, except for gelation for A. domesticus at pH 7. At 30% w/v, gels at pH 7 and pH 10 were formed, but not at pH 3 and pH 5. In conclusion, the insect species studied have potential to be used in foods due to: (1) absolute protein levels; (2) protein quality; (3) ability to form gels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3341-3348
JournalFood Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • tenebrio-molitor larvae
  • nutrient composition
  • gel formation
  • midgut
  • food
  • invertebrates
  • phenoloxidase
  • coleoptera
  • component
  • melanin

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