DOI: 10.3390/foods13010032 ISSN: 2304-8158

Chemical and Nutritional Fat Profile of Acheta domesticus, Gryllus bimaculatus, Tenebrio molitor and Rhynchophorus ferrugineus

Agnieszka Orkusz, Lucyna Dymińska, Karol Banaś, Joanna Harasym
  • Plant Science
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Health (social science)
  • Microbiology
  • Food Science

The use of edible insects in the human diet is gaining importance because they are characterized by high nutritional value, and their cultivation is much more environmentally friendly than traditional livestock farming. The objective of this study was to determine the chemical and nutritional fat profile of selected edible insects as follows: house cricket (Acheta domesticus adult), field cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus adult), mealworm (Tenebrio molitor larvae), and palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus larvae) which are now commercially available worldwide. Additionally, the degree of implementation of nutrition standards for selected nutrients by these insects was assessed. Freeze-dried insects were studied using infrared-attenuated total reflectance mid-infrared spectroscopy for basic differentiation. The content of fat and fatty acids was determined, and dietary indicators were calculated. The spectroscopic findings align with biochemical data, revealing that Rhynchophorus ferrugineus larvae contain the highest fat content and the least protein. Unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) predominated in the fat of the assessed insects. The highest content of saturated fatty acids (SFAs), along with the lowest content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), was observed in the larvae of the Rhynchophorus ferrugineus species. From a nutritional standpoint, Tenebrio molitor larvae exhibit the most favorable indicators, characterized by minimal athero- and thrombogenic effects, along with an optimal balance of hypo- and hypercholesterolemic acids. Knowledge of the composition and quantities of fats in different insect species is valuable for planning and preparing meals with accurate nutritional profiles, among other applications.

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