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Larvae of mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) as European novel food

DOI: 10.4236/as.2013.46041, PP. 287-291

Keywords: Larvae Tenobrio molitor L., Chemical Composition, Protein, Fat, Fatty Acid, Minerals

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Abstract:

For centuries, insects have been used as food due to their availability and easiness in raising that is much less burdensome for environment than animal husbandry breeding. Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) is a store-pest of which larvae are consumed by people. The aim of the work was to determine the nutritional value of larvae of mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.). The material was a three-month-old mealworm larva 25 -30 mmin length. Larvae were boiled for 3 min and next dried in 60℃. Contents of water, ash, minerals, protein, fat and fat acids profile have been determined. Fresh larvae contained 56% of water, 18% of total protein, 22% of total fat and 1.55% of ash. High contents of minerals were found in the larvae: magnesium (87.5 mg/100g), zinc (4.2 mg/100g), iron (3.8 mg/100g), copper (0.78 mg/100g) and manganese (0.44 mg/100g). The proportion of n-6/n-3 fatty acids was very advantageous and amounted to 6.76. Larvae powder contained twice higher content of protein, fat, ash and minerals. Larva of mealworm is a valuable source of nutrients in amounts more profitable for human organism than traditional meat food. Powdered larva is a high-grade product to be applied as a supplement to traditional meals.

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