Determination of vitamin B12 in four edible insect species by immunoaffinity and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography

Food Chem. 2019 May 30;281:124-129. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.12.039. Epub 2018 Dec 15.


Insects are rich in major nutrients, such as protein and fat. Recently, minor nutrients like vitamins have become the subjects of interest in insects. Hence, this study reports on the development and validation of a method for the determination of vitamin B12 in mealworm (Tenebrio molitor larvae), cricket (Gryllus assimilis), grasshopper (Locusta migratoria) and cockroach (Shelfordella lateralis), using an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography approach with preliminary immunoaffinity chromatography sample preparation. The method was validated regarding linearity, specificity, accuracy and precision, as well as limits of detection/quantification, and was found to be satisfactory for the desired application. Found levels of vitamin B12 were 1.08 µg/100 g for mealworm, 2.88 µg/100 g for cricket, 0.84 µg/100 g for grasshopper, and 13.2 µg/100 g dry weight for cockroach, representing the first validated report on the content of vitamin B12 in edible insects. Observed interferences are likely caused by the presence of pseudovitamin B12.

Keywords: Cockroach; Cricket; Cyanocobalamin (PubChem CID: 5311498); Grasshopper; Hydroxocobalamin (PubChem CID: 45357193); Insects; Mealworm; Pseudovitamin B(12); UHPLC; Vitamin B(12).

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid*
  • Cockroaches / chemistry
  • Food Analysis
  • Grasshoppers / chemistry
  • Gryllidae / chemistry
  • Insecta / chemistry*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tenebrio / chemistry
  • Vitamin B 12 / analysis*


  • Vitamin B 12