Effects of Enzymatic Hydrolysis on the Functional Properties, Antioxidant Activity and Protein Structure of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Protein

Insects. 2020 Dec 9;11(12):876. doi: 10.3390/insects11120876.


The effects of chemical protein extraction, and enzymatic hydrolysis with Alcalase, papain and pepsin, on the functional properties, antioxidant activity, amino acid composition and protein structure of black soldier fly (H. illucens) larval protein were examined. Alcalase hydrolysates had the highest degree of hydrolysis (p < 0.05), with the highest hydrolysate and oil fraction yield (p < 0.05). Pepsin hydrolysates showed the lowest oil holding capacity (p < 0.05), whereas no significant differences were observed among other enzymes and protein concentrates (p > 0.05). The emulsifying stability and foam capacity were significantly lower in protein hydrolysates than protein concentrate (p < 0.05). The antioxidant activity of protein hydrolysates from protein concentrate and Alcalase was higher than that with papain and pepsin (p < 0.05), owing to the higher hydrophobic amino acid content. Raman spectroscopy indicated structural changes in protein α-helices and β-sheets after enzymatic hydrolysis.

Keywords: Raman spectroscopy; amino acids composition; antioxidant activity; black soldier fly; chemometrics; enzymatic hydrolysis; functional properties; insect proteins.