Nitrogen-to-Protein Conversion Factors for Three Edible Insects

Tenebrio molitor, Alphitobius diaperinus, and Hermetia illucens

Renske H. Janssen, Jean Paul Vincken, Lambertus A.M. van den Broek, Vincenzo Fogliano, Catriona M.M. Lakemond*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Insects are considered a nutritionally valuable source of alternative proteins, and their efficient protein extraction is a prerequisite for large-scale use. The protein content is usually calculated from total nitrogen using the nitrogen-to-protein conversion factor (Kp) of 6.25. This factor overestimates the protein content, due to the presence of nonprotein nitrogen in insects. In this paper, a specific Kp of 4.76 ± 0.09 was calculated for larvae from Tenebrio molitor, Alphitobius diaperinus, and Hermetia illucens, using amino acid analysis. After protein extraction and purification, a Kp factor of 5.60 ± 0.39 was found for the larvae of three insect species studied. We propose to adopt these Kp values for determining protein content of insects to avoid overestimation of the protein content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2275-2278
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Volume65
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

Hermetia illucens
edible insects
Alphitobius diaperinus
Tenebrio
Tenebrio molitor
Insects
Nitrogen
protein content
insects
nitrogen
Proteins
proteins
nonprotein nitrogen
larvae
Larva
Insect Proteins
amino acids
Purification
Amino Acids

Keywords

  • Alphitobius diaperinus
  • amino acids
  • black soldier fly
  • edible insects
  • Hermetia illucens
  • lesser mealworm
  • nitrogen-to-protein conversion factor (Kp)
  • protein extraction
  • Tenebrio molitor
  • yellow mealworm

Cite this

@article{61fe21444b3640ce9b09303f14dd272e,
title = "Nitrogen-to-Protein Conversion Factors for Three Edible Insects: Tenebrio molitor, Alphitobius diaperinus, and Hermetia illucens",
abstract = "Insects are considered a nutritionally valuable source of alternative proteins, and their efficient protein extraction is a prerequisite for large-scale use. The protein content is usually calculated from total nitrogen using the nitrogen-to-protein conversion factor (Kp) of 6.25. This factor overestimates the protein content, due to the presence of nonprotein nitrogen in insects. In this paper, a specific Kp of 4.76 ± 0.09 was calculated for larvae from Tenebrio molitor, Alphitobius diaperinus, and Hermetia illucens, using amino acid analysis. After protein extraction and purification, a Kp factor of 5.60 ± 0.39 was found for the larvae of three insect species studied. We propose to adopt these Kp values for determining protein content of insects to avoid overestimation of the protein content.",
keywords = "Alphitobius diaperinus, amino acids, black soldier fly, edible insects, Hermetia illucens, lesser mealworm, nitrogen-to-protein conversion factor (Kp), protein extraction, Tenebrio molitor, yellow mealworm",
author = "Janssen, {Renske H.} and Vincken, {Jean Paul} and {van den Broek}, {Lambertus A.M.} and Vincenzo Fogliano and Lakemond, {Catriona M.M.}",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1021/acs.jafc.7b00471",
language = "English",
volume = "65",
pages = "2275--2278",
journal = "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry",
issn = "0021-8561",
publisher = "American Chemical Society",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Nitrogen-to-Protein Conversion Factors for Three Edible Insects

T2 - Tenebrio molitor, Alphitobius diaperinus, and Hermetia illucens

AU - Janssen, Renske H.

AU - Vincken, Jean Paul

AU - van den Broek, Lambertus A.M.

AU - Fogliano, Vincenzo

AU - Lakemond, Catriona M.M.

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Insects are considered a nutritionally valuable source of alternative proteins, and their efficient protein extraction is a prerequisite for large-scale use. The protein content is usually calculated from total nitrogen using the nitrogen-to-protein conversion factor (Kp) of 6.25. This factor overestimates the protein content, due to the presence of nonprotein nitrogen in insects. In this paper, a specific Kp of 4.76 ± 0.09 was calculated for larvae from Tenebrio molitor, Alphitobius diaperinus, and Hermetia illucens, using amino acid analysis. After protein extraction and purification, a Kp factor of 5.60 ± 0.39 was found for the larvae of three insect species studied. We propose to adopt these Kp values for determining protein content of insects to avoid overestimation of the protein content.

AB - Insects are considered a nutritionally valuable source of alternative proteins, and their efficient protein extraction is a prerequisite for large-scale use. The protein content is usually calculated from total nitrogen using the nitrogen-to-protein conversion factor (Kp) of 6.25. This factor overestimates the protein content, due to the presence of nonprotein nitrogen in insects. In this paper, a specific Kp of 4.76 ± 0.09 was calculated for larvae from Tenebrio molitor, Alphitobius diaperinus, and Hermetia illucens, using amino acid analysis. After protein extraction and purification, a Kp factor of 5.60 ± 0.39 was found for the larvae of three insect species studied. We propose to adopt these Kp values for determining protein content of insects to avoid overestimation of the protein content.

KW - Alphitobius diaperinus

KW - amino acids

KW - black soldier fly

KW - edible insects

KW - Hermetia illucens

KW - lesser mealworm

KW - nitrogen-to-protein conversion factor (Kp)

KW - protein extraction

KW - Tenebrio molitor

KW - yellow mealworm

U2 - 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b00471

DO - 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b00471

M3 - Article

VL - 65

SP - 2275

EP - 2278

JO - Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

JF - Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

SN - 0021-8561

IS - 11

ER -