Purine derivate content and amino acid profile in larval stages of three edible insects
Considering their high content of protein, insects are a valuable alternative protein source. However, no evaluation of their purine content has so far been done. High content of purine derivates may lead to the exclusion of such food from the diet of people with specific diseases. The aim of this study was to analyse the content of selected purine derivates and amino acid profile in the three insect species most often used for entomophagy in Europe and compare them with the purine content in egg white and chicken breast.
The content of individual purine derivates and their total content were significantly dependent on insect species. The purine content in all three species was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than in egg white, but some values were significantly lower (P < 0.05) than in chicken breast. The total protein content was 548.9 g kg−1 dry matter (DM) in mealworm (Tenebrio molitor), 551.6 g kg−1 DM in superworm (Zophobas atratus) and 564.9 g kg−1 DM in cricket (Gryllus assimilis).
Larvae of mealworm and superworm are protein-rich and purine-low meat alternatives. In contrast, cricket nymphs are protein-rich and purine-rich and cannot be recommended for people with hyperuricemia or gout. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry