Author(s): Finke MD, DeFoliart GR, Benevenga NJ
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Abstract The quality of three insect protein sources [Mormon cricket meal (MCM), house cricket meal (HCM) and Eastern tent caterpillar meal (TCM)] was evaluated relative to that of lactalbumin (LA) and soy protein (SP) by using both amino acid analysis and a rat bioassay. The amino acid pattern of the three insect meals indicated that methionine should be the first limiting amino acid for growing rats. In the rat bioassay, weanling Sprague-Dawley rats were fed graded levels of the five proteins in purified diets and the response (weight or nitrogen gain) evaluated as a function of nitrogen intake. The individual nitrogen intake-animal response results could be described by a series of curves using a four-parameter logistic model. The use of parameter sharing permitted the full range of responses to be described so that statistical differences between the dose-response curves could be identified. When used for either weight maintenance, nitrogen equilibrium, maximum weight gain or maximum nitrogen retention, the five protein sources could be ranked in the following order: LA greater than HCM greater than MCM = SP greater than TCM. Relative to lactalbumin, the value of all four protein sources decreased with increasing nitrogen intake. The low values obtained for TCM may have been related to factors other than protein quality. The results of this study indicate that some insect proteins are equivalent or superior to soy protein as a source of amino acids for growing rats.
This article was published in J Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Food: Microbiology, Safety & Hygiene