Scientific journal

60 2021

Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
Summary No. 4 / 2021

Mohammadsalim, S. – Imani, S. – Abdigoudarzi, M. – Hasanzadeh, N. – Zarrinnia, V.
Microbiological quality of dried larvae of Tenebrio molitor under various processing methods as a food and feed in Iran
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 60, 2021, No. 4, s. 335-343

Sohrab Imani, Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food Industries, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Daneshgah Blvd, Simon Bulivar Blvd, 147789355 Tehran, Iran. E-mail:

Received 19 June 2021; 1st revised 16 September 2021; 2nd revised 13 October 2021; accepted 21 October 2021; published online 23 November 2021.

Summary: Edible insects are considered as an alternative protein source for consumption in many countries and special attention has been given to their microbiological safety. In this study, larvae of dried yellow mealworm Tenebrio molitor were collected and subjected to various drying techniques, namely, sun-drying (T1), boiling for 30 s with subsequent 24 h drying at 60 °C (T2) and boiling for 1 min with subsequent 48 h drying at 70 °C (T3). A variety of bacteria were isolated from the dried samples and were analysed based on biochemical, pathogenicity characteristics and molecular analysis. Results showed that the bacteria were Escherichia coli, Enterococcus gallinarum, Staphylococcus succinus, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus atrophaeus and Cronobacter sp. Two important pathogenic bacteria were also identified and assigned as E. coli and B. cereus. Total bacterial populations in T1, T2 and in the ready product were 2.19 × 105 CFU·g-1, 2.16 × 105 CFU·g-1 and 2.04 × 105 CFU·g-1, respectively. T3 was the most effective drying method with no bacterial growth. These results indicate that a short heating treatment is an effective approach to eliminating bacteria, except for Gram-positive endospore-forming bacteria. Otherwise, some hygienic practices and proper processing methods are necessary to treat the larvae before consumption.

Keywords: dried insects; edible insects; food safety; microbiological quality; antibiotic test; molecular analysis

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