Determination of Carbohydrate Composition in Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) Larvae and Characterization of Mealworm Chitin and Chitosan
- Determination of Carbohydrate Composition in Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) Larvae and Characterization of Mealworm Chitin and Chitosan
- 노주원; 김상민; 손양주; 황인경; 김수희
- Issue Date
- VOL 10, NO 3, 640
- Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) is a classic edible insect with high nutritional value for substituting meats from vertebrates. While interest in mealworms has increased, the determination of carbohydrate constituents of mealworms has been overlooked. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the carbohydrate content and composition of mealworms. In addition, the characteristics of mealworm chitin were determined as these were the major components of mealworm carbohydrate. The crude carbohydrate content of mealworms was 11.5%, but the total soluble sugar content was only 30% of the total carbohydrate content, and fructose was identified as the most abundant free sugar in mealworms. Chitin derivatives were the key components of mealworm carbohydrate with a yield of 4.7%. In the scanning electron microscopy images, a lamellar structure with α-chitin configuration was observed, and mealworm chitosan showed multiple pores on its surface. The overall physical characteristics of mealworm chitin and chitosan were similar to those of the commercial products derived from crustaceans. However, mealworm chitin showed a significantly softer texture than crustacean chitin with superior anti-inflammatory effects. Hence, mealworm chitin and chitosan could be employed as novel resources with unique advantages in industries.
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