Could Defatted Mealworm ( Tenebrio molitor) and Mealworm Oil Be Used as Food Ingredients?

Foods. 2020 Jan 2;9(1):40. doi: 10.3390/foods9010040.


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.

Keywords: characteristics; defatted powder; edible insect; mealworm; mealworm oil.