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Some Insect Species Are Good-Quality Protein Sources for Children and Adults: Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS) Determined in Growing Pigs

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  • Navodita Malla, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Jan V. Nørgaard
  • Helle N. Lærke
  • Lars Henrik L. Heckmann, Life Science Division, Danish Technological Institute
  • ,
  • Nanna Roos, Københavns Universitet

Background: Insect species are suitable for farming as "mini livestock"for human and animal consumption. It is important to assess the protein quality of relevant species to understand the potential of these novel protein sources in future sustainable food systems. Objectives: We aimed to determine the protein quality of 5 insect species-lesser mealworm (LMW), yellow mealworm, house cricket (HC), banded cricket (BC), and black soldier fly-using the digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) in a pig model. Methods: Five diets were formulated to contain 10% insect crude protein (CP). A nitrogen (N)-free diet was included to estimate endogenous losses. In a 6 × 6 Latin square design, 6 ileal cannulated crossbred [Duroc × (Danish Landrace × Yorkshire)] male pigs with an initial body weight of 35 ± 2 kg were fed the 6 diets. Each diet was fed for 1 wk over 6 wk. Ileal digesta were collected for 8 h on days 5 and 7 each week. Analyzed CP, amino acid (AA) contents, and calculated values of standardized ileal digestibility for CP and AAs were used to assess the DIAAS of each insect. Results: The DIAAS for young children aged 6 mo-3 y and for older children, adolescents, and adults identified sulfur AAs (cysteine + methionine) as the first limiting AA in all 4 species of cricket and mealworm. For young children, both cricket species had DIAASs > 75 and for older children, adolescents, and adults both cricket species and LMW had DIAASs > 75. Conclusions: Both cricket species (HC and BC) are classified as good-quality protein sources for young children aged 6 mo-3 y and for older children, adolescents, and adults. One mealworm species, LMW, is a good-quality protein source for older children, adolescents, and adults.

TidsskriftJournal of Nutrition
Sider (fra-til)1042-1051
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2022

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