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Article

Determination of Carbohydrate Composition in Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) Larvae and Characterization of Mealworm Chitin and Chitosan

1
Smart Farm Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Gangneung Institute of Natural Products, Gangneung 25451, Korea
2
Department of Food and Nutrition and Research Institute of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
3
Department of Culinary Arts, Kyungmin University, Uijeongbu 11618, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow and Chuleui Jung
Foods 2021, 10(3), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030640
Received: 18 February 2021 / Revised: 14 March 2021 / Accepted: 15 March 2021 / Published: 18 March 2021
Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) is a classic edible insect with high nutritional value for substituting meats from vertebrates. While interest in mealworms has increased, the determination of carbohydrate constituents of mealworms has been overlooked. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the carbohydrate content and composition of mealworms. In addition, the characteristics of mealworm chitin were determined as these were the major components of mealworm carbohydrate. The crude carbohydrate content of mealworms was 11.5%, but the total soluble sugar content was only 30% of the total carbohydrate content, and fructose was identified as the most abundant free sugar in mealworms. Chitin derivatives were the key components of mealworm carbohydrate with a yield of 4.7%. In the scanning electron microscopy images, a lamellar structure with α-chitin configuration was observed, and mealworm chitosan showed multiple pores on its surface. The overall physical characteristics of mealworm chitin and chitosan were similar to those of the commercial products derived from crustaceans. However, mealworm chitin showed a significantly softer texture than crustacean chitin with superior anti-inflammatory effects. Hence, mealworm chitin and chitosan could be employed as novel resources with unique advantages in industries. View Full-Text
Keywords: edible insect; mealworm; sugar content; chitin; microscopy; degree of acetylation edible insect; mealworm; sugar content; chitin; microscopy; degree of acetylation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Son, Y.-J.; Hwang, I.-K.; Nho, C.W.; Kim, S.M.; Kim, S.H. Determination of Carbohydrate Composition in Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) Larvae and Characterization of Mealworm Chitin and Chitosan. Foods 2021, 10, 640. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030640

AMA Style

Son Y-J, Hwang I-K, Nho CW, Kim SM, Kim SH. Determination of Carbohydrate Composition in Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) Larvae and Characterization of Mealworm Chitin and Chitosan. Foods. 2021; 10(3):640. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030640

Chicago/Turabian Style

Son, Yang-Ju, In-Kyeong Hwang, Chu Won Nho, Sang Min Kim, and Soo Hee Kim. 2021. "Determination of Carbohydrate Composition in Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) Larvae and Characterization of Mealworm Chitin and Chitosan" Foods 10, no. 3: 640. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10030640

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