Special Issue "Edible Insects as Innovative Foods: Nutritional, Functional and Acceptability Assessments"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Security and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Chuleui Jung
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
School of Bioresource Sciences, Andong National University, Andong 760-749, Korea
Interests: insect ecology; insect; entomology;
Prof. Dr. Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Ecology and Genetics, Oulu University, Oulu, Finland
Interests: ethno-entomology; functional anatomy; vision; neurobiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Will insects be the food of the future?

The answer is that we aren’t sure yet, but what we are certain of is that insects in the past were indeed a food item appreciated by humankind worldwide (Bequaert 1921, Bergier 1941; Bodenheimer 1951). Somehow and for reasons not completely understood, but probably related to the spread of Christianity that forbade the consumption of insects with the exception of four species of locust, the awareness that insects can be vectors of some fatal human diseases, the emotional separation from nature including entomophobia, and an increasingly greater variety of foodstuffs reaching the consumer, the use of insects as human food became less and less popular over the years.

However, there is no doubt that since time immemorial humans have almost certainly consumed some insects either by ingesting them more or less accidentally with fruit and other items or seeking to eat them deliberately. Even our closest animal relatives, the monkeys, have been observed to actively collect insects and other arthropods in order to eat them, e.g. Marshall 1902; Carpenter 1921; Nickle and Heymann 1996; Sanz et al. 2009) or, in the case of millipedes, to use them therapeutically (Weldon et al. 2003).

Over the last 30 years, there has been a renewed interest in insects as human food. International conferences have begun to focus more and more on edible insects since the XVI International Pacific Science Congress in Seoul in August 1987 and the International Conference on Minilivestock in Beijing in September 1995 brought this topic to a wider audience. Scientific publications, too numerous to mention, have appeared in the last 20 years or so, praising the advantages of an insect-based diet over a diet consisting of conventional meats like poultry and especially ruminants, and highlighting the environmentally advantageous farming of mini-livestock like insects over that of traditionally farmed animals. Various edible insect species have had their farming potential assessed, their acceptability as a novelty food (or feed in animal husbandry and fish culture) examined and their potential risk of carrying diseases or undesired microbes scrutinized.

Although insects should not be seen as a food item for humans merely to survive times of dietary hardship and periods of starvation, there is no way to deny that the global food security situation for the human population is becoming increasingly precarious and that food production worldwide has to increase by at least 50% to meet demand by 2050. Despite earlier reports of people who live traditionally in different parts of the world engaging in entomophagy (the consumption of insects), until Meyer-Rochow (1975) none of these reports had thought to link global food security to the universal and extensive use of insects as a possible and potent way to ease global food shortages.

We now possess a considerable amount of information on the kinds of insect that serve as food to various people in the world; we know that most insects are nutritious, consist of valuable protein, easily digestible fatty acids, and contain important minerals and vitamins, and recommendations exist regarding how to breed the most lucrative species optimally.

However, there are still gaps to be filled with regard to the processing of cultured insects, the preparation and conservation of insect-based foods, economics and marketing, and the potential of insects as suppliers of health-promoting drugs and medicines.

It is with these thoughts in mind that we accepted the task of serving as guest editors for this issue of the journal Foods on edible insects and their role as food as well as raw material for a variety of products.

Prof. Chuleui Jung
Prof. Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • entomophagy
  • functionality
  • preparation
  • conservation
  • economics
  • marketing

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Insects Used as Food and Feed: Isn’t That What We All Need?
Foods 2020, 9(8), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9081003 - 27 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This Special Issue of Foods explores different aspects of how insects can be used as a novel resource for food and feed. Some contributions deal with questions of acceptability and legality, others tackle problems related to innovative techniques in processing and marketing food, [...] Read more.
This Special Issue of Foods explores different aspects of how insects can be used as a novel resource for food and feed. Some contributions deal with questions of acceptability and legality, others tackle problems related to innovative techniques in processing and marketing food, and yet another group of papers highlights the use of insects and their bio-active products in the context of promoting human health. The collective aim of the contributions by the researchers from at least 20 countries is to examine whether the use of insects—be it for food, feed, or therapeutic purposes—has a future. We conclude that positive aspects undoubtedly exist regarding the nutritional and pharmacological value of various insect species but that environmental and bio-functional issues could even outweigh the nutritional value of food insects. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle
Nutritional Value of the Larvae of the Alien Invasive Wasp Vespa velutina nigrithorax and Amino Acid Composition of the Larval Saliva
Foods 2020, 9(7), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070885 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The systematic investigations on the value of social wasps as a food resource are deficient, in spite of the long history of the utilization of social wasps as food and pharmaceutical bioresources. Vespa velutina nigrithorax is an invasive alien wasp species that is [...] Read more.
The systematic investigations on the value of social wasps as a food resource are deficient, in spite of the long history of the utilization of social wasps as food and pharmaceutical bioresources. Vespa velutina nigrithorax is an invasive alien wasp species that is currently dominating in East Asia and Europe, bringing huge economic damages. As a control over alien species is made when the valuable utilization of the invasive species as a potential resource are discovered, investigations on the potential of V. v. nigrithorax as a useful bioresource are also in demand. Nutritional and heavy metal analyses of the larvae revealed their balanced and rich nutritional value and safety as a food resource. The larval saliva amino acid composition was investigated for further study on amino acid supplementation and exercise enhancement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Thermal Processing on Physico-Chemical and Antioxidant Properties in Mulberry Silkworm (Bombyx mori L.) Powder
Foods 2020, 9(7), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070871 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori L.) is a common edible insect in many countries. However, the impact of thermal processing, especially regarding Thai silkworm powder, is poorly known. We, therefore, determined the optimum time for treatment in hot water and subsequent drying [...] Read more.
The mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori L.) is a common edible insect in many countries. However, the impact of thermal processing, especially regarding Thai silkworm powder, is poorly known. We, therefore, determined the optimum time for treatment in hot water and subsequent drying temperatures in the production of silkworm powder. The silkworms exposed to 90 °C water for 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 min showed values of Total Phenolic Compounds (TPCs), 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl free radical scavenging (DPPH) assay, 2,2′-Azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) assay, and Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) assay that were significantly (p < 0.05) higher at the 5 min exposure time compared with the other times. The reduction of microorganisms based on log CFU/g counts was ≥3 log CFU/g (99%) at the 5 min treatment. To determine the optimum drying temperature, the silkworms exposed to 90 °C water for 5 min were subjected to a hot-air dryer at 80, 100, 120, and 140 °C. The TPC value was the highest (p < 0.05) at 80 °C. The silkworm powder possessed significantly (p < 0.05) higher DPPH, ABTS radical scavenging ability, and ferric ion reducing capability (FRAP assay) at 80 °C compared with other drying temperatures. This study indicates that shorter exposure times to hot water and a low drying temperature preserve the antioxidant activities. High antioxidant activities (in addition to its known protein and fat content) suggest that silkworms and silkworm powder can make a valuable contribution to human health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Traditional Knowledge of the Utilization of Edible Insects in Nagaland, North-East India
Foods 2020, 9(7), 852; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070852 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Located at the north-eastern part of India, Nagaland is a relatively unexplored area having had only few studies on the faunal diversity, especially concerning insects. Although the practice of entomophagy is widespread in the region, a detailed account regarding the utilization of edible [...] Read more.
Located at the north-eastern part of India, Nagaland is a relatively unexplored area having had only few studies on the faunal diversity, especially concerning insects. Although the practice of entomophagy is widespread in the region, a detailed account regarding the utilization of edible insects is still lacking. The present study documents the existing knowledge of entomophagy in the region, emphasizing the currently most consumed insects in view of their marketing potential as possible future food items. Assessment was done with the help of semi-structured questionnaires, which mentioned a total of 106 insect species representing 32 families and 9 orders that were considered as health foods by the local ethnic groups. While most of the edible insects are consumed boiled, cooked, fried, roasted/toasted, some insects such as Cossus sp., larvae and pupae of ants, bees, wasps, and hornets as well as honey, bee comb, bee wax are consumed raw. Certain edible insects are either fully domesticated (e.g., Antheraea assamensis, Apis cerana indica, and Samia cynthia ricini) or semi-domesticated in their natural habitat (e.g., Vespa mandarinia, Vespa soror, Vespa tropica tropica, and Vespula orbata), and the potential of commercialization of these insects and some other species as a bio-resource in Nagaland exists. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Product Quality during the Storage of Foods with Insects as an Ingredient: Impact of Particle Size, Antioxidant, Oil Content and Salt Content
Foods 2020, 9(6), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9060791 - 16 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
To increase the acceptability of insects as food in Western culture, it is essential to develop attractive, high-quality food products. Higher acceptability of insect-based food has been shown if the insects are “invisible”. Mincing or chopping the insect material could be a first [...] Read more.
To increase the acceptability of insects as food in Western culture, it is essential to develop attractive, high-quality food products. Higher acceptability of insect-based food has been shown if the insects are “invisible”. Mincing or chopping the insect material could be a first processing step to reduce the visibility of the insects. In this work, we processed yellow mealworms by using traditional food techniques: chopping, mixing and heat treatment in a retort. The results show that all factors in the experimental design (particle size, oil content, salt content and antioxidant) influenced the products to a larger extent than the storage time. The results, measured by sensory analysis, TBAR values (Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances), colourimetry and viscosity, show clearly that the food products packaged in TRC (Tetra recart cartons) 200 packages and processed in a retort stayed stable during a storage time of 6 months at room temperature. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Traditional Processing Techniques on the Nutritional and Microbiological Quality of Four Edible Insect Species Used for Food and Feed in East Africa
Foods 2020, 9(5), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9050574 - 04 May 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Edible insects are increasingly being considered as food and feed ingredients because of their rich nutrient content. Already, edible insect farming has taken-off in Africa, but quality and safety concerns call for simple, actionable hazard control mechanisms. We examined the effects of traditional [...] Read more.
Edible insects are increasingly being considered as food and feed ingredients because of their rich nutrient content. Already, edible insect farming has taken-off in Africa, but quality and safety concerns call for simple, actionable hazard control mechanisms. We examined the effects of traditional processing techniques—boiling, toasting, solar-drying, oven-drying, boiling + oven-drying, boiling + solar-drying, toasting + oven-drying, toasting + solar-drying—on the proximate composition and microbiological quality of adult Acheta domesticus and Ruspolia differens, the prepupae of Hermetia illucens and 5th instar larvae of Spodoptera littoralis. Boiling, toasting, and drying decreased the dry matter crude fat by 0.8–51% in the order: toasting > boiling > oven-drying > solar-drying, whereas the protein contents increased by 1.2–22% following the same order. Boiling and toasting decreased aerobic mesophilic bacterial populations, lowered Staphylococcus aureus, and eliminated the yeasts and moulds, Lac+ enteric bacteria, and Salmonella. Oven-drying alone marginally lowered bacterial populations as well as yeast and moulds, whereas solar-drying alone had no effect on these parameters. Oven-drying of the boiled or toasted products increased the aerobic mesophilic bacteria counts but the products remained negative on Lac+ enteric bacteria and Salmonella. Traditional processing improves microbial safety but alters the nutritional value. Species- and treatment-specific patterns exist. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Edible Insects in Africa in Terms of Food, Wildlife Resource, and Pest Management Legislation
Foods 2020, 9(4), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040502 - 16 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Entomophagy is an ancient and actually African tradition that has been receiving renewed attention since edible insects have been identified as one of the solutions to improve global nutrition. As any other foodstuff, insects should be regulated by the government to ensure product [...] Read more.
Entomophagy is an ancient and actually African tradition that has been receiving renewed attention since edible insects have been identified as one of the solutions to improve global nutrition. As any other foodstuff, insects should be regulated by the government to ensure product quality and consumer safety. The goal of the present paper was to assess the current legal status of edible insects in Africa. For that, corresponding authorities were contacted along with an extensive online search, relying mostly on the FAOLEX database. Except for Botswana, insects are not mentioned in national regulations, although the definitions for “foodstuff” allow their inclusion, i.e., general food law can also apply to insects. Contacted authorities tolerated entomophagy, even though no legal base existed. However, insects typically appear in laws pertaining the use of natural resources, making a permit necessary (in most cases). Pest management regulation can also refer to edible species, e.g., locusts or weevils. Farming is an option that should be assessed carefully. All this creates a complex, nation-specific situation regarding which insect may be used legally to what purpose. Recommendations for elements in future insect-related regulations from the food hygiene point of view are provided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Thrombotic, Anti-Oxidant and Haemolysis Activities of Six Edible Insect Species
Foods 2020, 9(4), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040401 - 01 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
In Korea, various insect species such as crickets and grasshoppers, as well as honey bee and silkworm pupae, have been consumed as food and used in oriental medicine. In this study to evaluate useful the bioactivities and potentially adverse effects of edible insects, [...] Read more.
In Korea, various insect species such as crickets and grasshoppers, as well as honey bee and silkworm pupae, have been consumed as food and used in oriental medicine. In this study to evaluate useful the bioactivities and potentially adverse effects of edible insects, ethanol extracts of Allomyrina dichotoma (AD), Tenebrio molitor (TM), Protaetia brevitarsis (PB), Gryllus bimaculatus (GB), Teleogryllus emma (TE), and Apis mellifera (AM) were prepared and evaluated with regard to their anti-thrombosis, anti-oxidant and haemolysis activities against human red blood cells. AD and TE extracts showed strong anti-oxidant activities, which were not related to polyphenol content. All ethanol extracts, except AM extract, showed strong platelet aggregation activities. The platelet aggregation ratios of the extracts were 194%–246% of those of the solvent controls. The effects of the AD, TM, PB, GM, and AM extracts on thrombin, prothrombin and various coagulation factors were negligible. Only the extract of TM showed concentration-dependent anti-coagulation activities, with a 1.75-fold aPTT (activated Partial Thromboplastin Time) extension at 5 mg/mL. Of the six insect extracts, TM and AM extracts exhibited potent haemolytic activity. Our results on the insect extracts’ functional properties suggest that edible insects have considerable potential not just as a food source but as a novel bio-resource as well. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nutritional Composition of Apis mellifera Drones from Korea and Denmark as a Potential Sustainable Alternative Food Source: Comparison Between Developmental Stages
Foods 2020, 9(4), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040389 - 27 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
We compared nutrient compositions of honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones of different developmental stages from two different populations—the Italian honey bee reared in Korea and Buckfast bees from Denmark. Analyses included amino acid, fatty acid, and mineral content as well as evaluations [...] Read more.
We compared nutrient compositions of honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones of different developmental stages from two different populations—the Italian honey bee reared in Korea and Buckfast bees from Denmark. Analyses included amino acid, fatty acid, and mineral content as well as evaluations of antioxidant properties and haemolysis activities. The compositions of total amino acids, and thus protein content of the insects, increased with development. A similar trend was observed for minerals presumably due to the consumption of food in the adult stage. In contrast, total fatty acid amounts decreased with development. Altogether, seventeen amino acids, including all the essential ones, except tryptophan, were determined. Saturated fatty acids dominated over monounsaturated fatty acids in the pupae, but the reverse held true for the adults. Drones were found to be rich in minerals and the particularly high iron as well as K/Na ratio was indicative of the nutritional value of these insects. Among the three developmental stages, adult Buckfast drones exhibited the highest antioxidant activity. Bearing in mind the overall high nutritional value, i.e., high amino acids, minerals and less fatty acids, late pupae and adult drones can be useful for human consumption while the larvae or early pupal stage can be recommended as feed. However, owing to their relatively high haemolysis activity, we advocate processing prior to the consumption of these insects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Insects as Novel Food: A Consumer Attitude Analysis through the Dominance-Based Rough Set Approach
Foods 2020, 9(4), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040387 - 27 Mar 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
In Western societies, the unfamiliarity with insect-based food is a hindrance for consumption and market development. This may depend on neophobia and reactions of disgust, individual characteristics and socio-cultural background, and risk-perceptions for health and production technologies. In addition, in many European countries, [...] Read more.
In Western societies, the unfamiliarity with insect-based food is a hindrance for consumption and market development. This may depend on neophobia and reactions of disgust, individual characteristics and socio-cultural background, and risk-perceptions for health and production technologies. In addition, in many European countries, the sale of insects for human consumption is still illegal, although European Union (EU) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are developing regulatory frameworks and environmental and quality standards. This research aims to advance the knowledge on entomophagy, providing insights to improve consumer acceptance in Italy. This is done by carrying out the characterization of a sample of consumers according to their willingness to taste several types of insect-based food and taking into account the connections among the consumers’ features. Thus, the dominance-based rough set approach is applied using the data collected from 310 Italian consumers. This approach provided 206 certain decision rules characterizing the consumers into five groups, showing the consumers’ features determining their specific classification. Although many Italian consumers are willing to accept only insects in the form of feed stuffs or supplements, this choice is a first step towards entomophagy. Conversely, young Italian people are a niche market, but they can play a role in changing trends. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Degree of Hydrolysis Affects the Techno-Functional Properties of Lesser Mealworm Protein Hydrolysates
Foods 2020, 9(4), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040381 - 25 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Protein hydrolysates from lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus, LM) were obtained by enzymatic hydrolysis with protease from Bacillus licheniformis. A preliminary test performed for five hours of hydrolysis generated an insect protein hydrolysate with 15% of degree of hydrolysis (DH), optimum [...] Read more.
Protein hydrolysates from lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus, LM) were obtained by enzymatic hydrolysis with protease from Bacillus licheniformis. A preliminary test performed for five hours of hydrolysis generated an insect protein hydrolysate with 15% of degree of hydrolysis (DH), optimum solubility property and oil holding capacity, but emulsifying and foaming ability were completely impaired. In order to investigate the potential implication of DH on techno-functional properties, a set of protein hydrolysates with a different DH was obtained by sub-sampling at different time points during three hours of enzymatic hydrolysis process. An increase in DH% had positive effects on the solubility property and oil holding ability, while a reduced emulsifying ability was observed up to five hours of hydrolysis. These results demonstrated that the enzymatic hydrolysis, if performed under controlled conditions and not for a long period, represents a valid method to extract high quality protein from insects with tailored techno-functionality, in order to produce tailored ingredients for feed and food purpose. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hepatoprotective Effects of Steamed and Freeze-Dried Mature Silkworm Larval Powder against Ethanol-Induced Fatty Liver Disease in Rats
Foods 2020, 9(3), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9030285 - 04 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Silkworm, Bombyx mori, contains high amounts of beneficial nutrients, including amino acids, proteins, essential minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. We have previously reported a technique for producing steamed and freeze-dried mature silkworm larval powder (SMSP), which makes it easier to digest mature [...] Read more.
Silkworm, Bombyx mori, contains high amounts of beneficial nutrients, including amino acids, proteins, essential minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. We have previously reported a technique for producing steamed and freeze-dried mature silkworm larval powder (SMSP), which makes it easier to digest mature silkworm. In this study, we investigated the preventive effects of SMSP on alcoholic fatty liver disease and elucidated its mechanism of action. Male Sprague-Dawley rats treated with SMSP (50 mg/kg) or normal diet (AIN-76A) were administered 25% ethanol (3 g/kg body weight) by oral gavage for 4 weeks. SMSP administration for 4 weeks significantly decreased hepatic fat accumulation in ethanol-treated rats by modulating lipogenesis and fatty acid oxidation-related molecules such as sirtuin 1, AMP-activated protein kinase, and acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1. Moreover, SMSP administration significantly diminished the levels of triglyceride in liver tissues by as much as 35%, as well as lowering the serum levels of triglyceride, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase, alanine transaminase, and aspartate aminotransferase in ethanol-treated rats. SMSP supplementation also decreased the pro-inflammatory tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin 1 beta levels and cytochrome P450 2E1 generating oxidative stress. These results suggest that SMSP administration may be possible for the prevention of alcoholic liver disease. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Could Western Attitudes towards Edible Insects Possibly be Influenced by Idioms Containing Unfavourable References to Insects, Spiders and other Invertebrates?
Foods 2020, 9(2), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9020172 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
It is known that idioms, proverbs, and slogans can become integrated into feelings like irritation, contemptuous attitudes, and even anger and disgust. Idioms making reference to insects, spiders, and other invertebrates occur in all languages, but they convey mostly negative content in people [...] Read more.
It is known that idioms, proverbs, and slogans can become integrated into feelings like irritation, contemptuous attitudes, and even anger and disgust. Idioms making reference to insects, spiders, and other invertebrates occur in all languages, but they convey mostly negative content in people of Western cultural orientation. By analyzing a subgroup of insect and spider idioms related to food, eating, and digestion, the authors suggest that mirror neurons are activated in people that are exposed to the largely unfavorable content of such idioms. This could then lead the listener of such idioms to adopt the kind of negative attitude towards insects that is expressed in the idioms and to project it towards edible species. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Growth Performance and Nutrient Composition of Mealworms (Tenebrio Molitor) Fed on Fresh Plant Materials-Supplemented Diets
Foods 2020, 9(2), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9020151 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) have a great potential to serve as a sustainable food source for humans due to their favorable nutrient profile and low environmental impact. Feed formulation and optimization are important for mealworm production. The objective of this study was [...] Read more.
Mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) have a great potential to serve as a sustainable food source for humans due to their favorable nutrient profile and low environmental impact. Feed formulation and optimization are important for mealworm production. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of fresh plant materials-supplemented diets on the growth performance and nutritional value of mealworms. Mealworm larvae were grown on wheat bran or wheat bran enriched with carrot, orange, or red cabbage for four weeks. Larval and pupal survival, growth rate, pupating rate, duration of pupal stage, proximate composition, reducing power, metal chelating activity, and radical scavenging activity of the mealworms were analyzed. Dietary supplementation with fresh plant materials did not result in significant changes in mealworm survival, development, proximate composition, or antioxidant activities. However, mealworm larvae fed on carrot-, orange-, and red cabbage-supplemented diets had improved growth rates, and were 40%–46% heavier in week four than those fed on wheat bran only, indicating the supplementation resulted in an increased production efficiency of mealworm larvae. Our findings may help optimize the diet formulation for mealworm mass production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Could Defatted Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) and Mealworm Oil Be Used as Food Ingredients?
Foods 2020, 9(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9010040 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Before edible insects may be used as an alternative food, it is necessary to develop basic product forms and evaluate their characteristics. We made two basic commercial products (defatted powder and oil) from mealworm, a popular edible insect. The defatted mealworm powder possessed [...] Read more.
Before edible insects may be used as an alternative food, it is necessary to develop basic product forms and evaluate their characteristics. We made two basic commercial products (defatted powder and oil) from mealworm, a popular edible insect. The defatted mealworm powder possessed a sufficient amount of protein, and it had a savory taste due to plentiful free amino acids. Additionally, it had abundant minor nutrients and bioactive compounds. The physicochemical properties of mealworm oil were very similar to vegetable oil, and mealworm oil was also abundant in bioactive nutrients, especially γ-tocopherol. In addition, the predicted shelf life of mealworm oil was suitable for commercial use. Moreover, mealworm had high antioxidant and anti-inflammation activities, which may arise from functional peptides and glucosamine derivatives such as chitin and chitosan. In short, the defatted mealworm powder and mealworm oil could be successfully used as novel food ingredients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Diversity and Use of Edible Grasshoppers, Locusts, Crickets, and Katydids (Orthoptera) in Madagascar
Foods 2019, 8(12), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120666 - 10 Dec 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Madagascar has a long history of using Orthoptera as food and feed. Our understanding of the biological diversity of this resource, its contemporary use, and its future potentials in Madagascar is extremely limited. The present study contributes basic knowledge of the biological diversity [...] Read more.
Madagascar has a long history of using Orthoptera as food and feed. Our understanding of the biological diversity of this resource, its contemporary use, and its future potentials in Madagascar is extremely limited. The present study contributes basic knowledge of the biological diversity and local uses of edible Orthoptera in Malagasy food cultures. Data was collected with key informants in 47 localities covering most of the ecoregions of Madagascar and corresponding to 12 of the 19 ethnic groups. Orthoptera are consumed throughout Madagascar. We report 37 edible Orthoptera species, of which 28 are new species records of edible Orthoptera in Madagascar and 24 are new species records of edible Orthoptera in the world. Most species are endemic and occur in farming zones. Children are the primary collectors and consumers of edible Orthoptera. The insects are eaten both as snacks and main meals. Edible Orthoptera are primarily collected casually and marketing is rare, with the notable exceptions of the large cricket Brachytrupes membranaceus colosseus and during locust outbreaks (e.g., Locusta migratoria). The use of Orthoptera as feed seems rare. Further investigations of cultural and personal preferences are required to assess the future potential roles of Orthoptera in Malagasy food habits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microbiological Profile and Bioactive Properties of Insect Powders Used in Food and Feed Formulations
Foods 2019, 8(9), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8090400 - 09 Sep 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Microbiological, nutritional and bioactive properties of edible powders obtained from Acheta domesticus (house cricket) and Tenebrio molitor (mealworm) were investigated. Except for the enterobacteria, viable bacteria were at a higher concentration in mealworm flour. The diversity evaluation carried out using MiSeq Illumina that [...] Read more.
Microbiological, nutritional and bioactive properties of edible powders obtained from Acheta domesticus (house cricket) and Tenebrio molitor (mealworm) were investigated. Except for the enterobacteria, viable bacteria were at a higher concentration in mealworm flour. The diversity evaluation carried out using MiSeq Illumina that mainly identified Citrobacter and Enterobacteriaceae in mealworm powder and members of the Porphyromonadaceae family in house cricket powder. Enterococci were identified and characterized for their safety characteristics in terms of the absence of antibiotic resistance and virulence. Both powders represent a good source of proteins and lipids. The fatty acid profile of mealworm powder was characterized by the predominance of the monounsaturated fatty acids and house cricket powder by saturated fatty acids. The enzymatic hydrolysis produced the best results in terms of percentage of degree of hydrolysis with the enzyme Alcalase, and these data were confirmed by SDS-PAGE electrophoresis. Furthermore, the results showed that the protein hydrolysate of these powders produces a significant antioxidant power. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Consumer Avoidance of Insect Containing Foods: Primary Emotions, Perceptions and Sensory Characteristics Driving Consumers Considerations
Foods 2019, 8(8), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080351 - 17 Aug 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Why do many human beings find bugs repulsive? Disgust, a psychological factor, is believed to be the main reason why consumers would not consider eating foods containing insect ingredients. This study aimed to understand specific consumers’ behaviors toward insect based products. A global [...] Read more.
Why do many human beings find bugs repulsive? Disgust, a psychological factor, is believed to be the main reason why consumers would not consider eating foods containing insect ingredients. This study aimed to understand specific consumers’ behaviors toward insect based products. A global survey was launched in 13 different countries. The participants (n = 630 from each country) completed the survey that included demographic questions and questions about why they would or would not eat insect-based products. The results show, particularly for some of the Asian countries, that it is necessary to start exposing and familiarizing the populations about insects in order to diminish the disgust factor associated with insects. It is strongly recommended that an insect-based product should not contain visible insect pieces, which trigger negative associations. The exceptions were consumers in countries such as Mexico and Thailand, evaluated in this study, which did not show significant negative beliefs associated with including insects in their diets. Additional research to promote insect-based product consumption with popular product types might be the first strategy to break the disgust barriers and build acquaintance about insect-based products. The need to educate consumers that not all insects are unhygienic is crucial to eliminating the potentially erroneous concepts from consumer mindsets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mealworms as Food Ingredient—Sensory Investigation of a Model System
Foods 2019, 8(8), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8080319 - 06 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The use of insects as food is a sustainable alternative to meat and as a protein source is fully comparable to meat, fish and soybeans. The next step is to make insects available for use in the more widespread production of food and [...] Read more.
The use of insects as food is a sustainable alternative to meat and as a protein source is fully comparable to meat, fish and soybeans. The next step is to make insects available for use in the more widespread production of food and meals. Sensory attributes are of great importance in being able to increase the understanding of insects as an ingredient in cooking and production. In this pilot study, mealworms were used as the main ingredient in a model system, where the aim was to evaluate the impact on sensory properties of changing particle size, oil/water ratio and salt content of the insects using a factorial design. Twelve different samples were produced according to the factorial design. Further, the effect of adding an antioxidant agent was evaluated. Sensory analysis and instrumental analyses were performed on the samples. Particle size significantly influenced the sensory attributes appearance, odor, taste and texture, but not flavor, whereas salt content affected taste and flavor. The viscosity was affected by the particle size and instrumentally measured color was affected by particle size and oil content. The addition of the antioxidant agent decreased the changes in color, rancidity and separation. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Factors Predicting the Intention of Eating an Insect-Based Product
Foods 2019, 8(7), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8070270 - 19 Jul 2019
Cited by 18
Abstract
This study provides a framework of the factors predicting the intention of eating an insect-based product. As part of the study, a seminar was carried out to explore how the provision of information about ecological, health, and gastronomic aspects of entomophagy would modify [...] Read more.
This study provides a framework of the factors predicting the intention of eating an insect-based product. As part of the study, a seminar was carried out to explore how the provision of information about ecological, health, and gastronomic aspects of entomophagy would modify consumer beliefs regarding insects as food. Before and after the informative seminar, two questionnaires about sociodemographic attributes and beliefs about the consumption of insects as food were given. Participants were then asked to carry out a sensory evaluation of two identical bread samples, but one was claimed to be supplemented with insect powder. Results showed that perceived behavioral control is the main predictor of the intention, followed by neophobia and personal insect food rejection. The disgust factor significantly decreased after the participants attended the informative seminar. Sensory scores highlighted that participants gave “insect-labelled” samples higher scores for flavor, texture, and overall liking, nevertheless, participants indicated that they were less likely to use the “insect-labelled” bread in the future. Our findings provide a better understanding of insect food rejection behavior and help to predict the willingness to try insect-based products based on some important individual traits and information. Full article
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