Proximate, Physicochemical, Techno-Functional and Antioxidant Properties of Three Edible Insect (Gonimbrasia belina, Hermetia illucens and Macrotermes subhylanus) Flours

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Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

In this study, edible insect flours from <i>Gonimbrasia belina</i> (Mashonzha), <i>Hermetia illucens</i> (black soldier fly larvae) and <i>Macrotermes subhylanus</i> (Madzhulu) were prepared and assessed in terms of proximal, physicochemical, techno-functional and antioxidant properties. The crude protein of the edible insect flours varied between 34.90&ndash;52.74%. The crude fat of the insect flours differed significantly (<i>p</i> &lt; 0.05), with <i>H. illucens</i> (27.93%) having the highest crude fat. <i>G. belina</i> was lighter (L*) and yellower (+b*) compared to <i>H. illucens</i> and <i>M. subhylanus</i>, and there was no significant difference (<i>p</i> &gt; 0.05) in the redness (+a*) of the edible insect flours. There were no significant differences (<i>p</i> &gt; 0.05) in foam capacity and foam stability of all three edible insect flours. Moreover, the antioxidant activity against the DPPH radical was low for <i>H. illucens</i> (3.63%), with <i>M. subhylanus</i> (55.37%) exhibiting the highest DPPH radical. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to the techno-functional properties and antioxidant indices of the edible insect flours. PC1 accounted for 51.39% of the total variability, while component 2 accounted for 24.71%. In terms of PC1, the FS, OBC and FC were responsible for the major differences in the edible insect flours. The findings revealed that edible insect flours are a good source of antioxidants and can be used as an alternative protein source and a potential novel food additive due to their techno-functional qualities.