Model studies on the technological, physicochemical and biological properties of fat and protein fractions of insect larvae in food systems


1. The biomass composition of the black flatworm Hermetia Illucens larvae, the relative amounts of biologically active substances, and the physicochemical and microbiological characteristics of the protein and fat fractions were investigated. The protein fraction of the black flatworms used in the study was found to have a complete profile of essential amino acids capable of ensuring the homeostasis of the human body through the consumption of foods enriched with larval biomass. The results of the study show that the protein and fat fraction of flatworms, due to its high biological value (amino acids, fatty acids), can be used in the food industry as an alternative to animal proteins and fats.

2. The oxidative stability of flatworm biomass was investigated by assessing the temporal dynamics of the number of fat oxidation products – peroxides. It was found that the biomass contains polyunsaturated fatty acids that could lead to peroxidation processes, which would reduce the chemical-oxidative stability of the larval biomass. However, the quantification of the primary fat oxidation products evaluated in the experiment showed a slight variation for the freshly prepared meat analogue burgers with the larval biomass and after keeping them for 45 days. This indicates that a food product enriched with larval biomass not only has a high nutritional and biological value, but also a long shelf life.

3. The fat fraction of flatworms has been experimentally shown to have antimicrobial properties, inhibiting the growth of Gram-positive bacteria and yeasts. The results of the study lead to the hypothesis that a food enriched with the fatty biomass of the larvae would have a preventive effect against infections caused by yeast fungi (e.g. gastric, intestinal candidiasis).

The full study can be downloaded here.

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