Effects of Heating Time and Temperature on Functional Properties of Proteins of Yellow Mealworm Larvae (Tenebrio molitor L.)

  • Lee, Ha-Jung (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of Animal Resources, Konkuk University) ;
  • Kim, Ji-Han (AgResearch Grasslands Research Centre) ;
  • Ji, Da-Som (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of Animal Resources, Konkuk University) ;
  • Lee, Chi-Ho (Department of Food Science and Biotechnology of Animal Resources, Konkuk University)
  • Received : 2019.03.21
  • Accepted : 2019.03.29
  • Published : 2019.04.30


Although the yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) is a promising alternative protein source, the effects of processing conditions on functional properties are unclear. In this study, a protein extract of yellow mealworm larvae (PEYM) was subjected to different heat temperature ($55^{\circ}C$, $75^{\circ}C$, and $95^{\circ}C$) with different time (20, 40, and 60 min) to evaluate the functional properties and protein oxidation. Different heat temperature treatment significantly affected the exposure of surface hydrophobicity of the proteins and protein molecule aggregation, which reached maximum levels at $95^{\circ}C$ for 60 min. Protein oxidation was inversely proportional to the temperature. Both the highest carbonyl value (1.49 nmol/mg protein) and lowest thiol value (22.94 nmol/mg protein) were observed at $95^{\circ}C$ for 60 min. The heating time-temperature interaction affected several functional properties, including solubility, emulsifying potential, and gel strength (GS). Solubility decreased near the isoelectric point (pH 5 to 6). As the temperature and heating time increased, emulsifying properties decreased and GS increased. The oil absorption capacity and foaming properties decreased and the water absorption capacity increased. These results confirmed that PEYM is a suitable source of proteins for processing and applications in the food industry.


Supported by : Konkuk University


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