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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Grain Quality and Structure Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #394590

Research Project: Measurement and Improvement of Hard Winter Wheat End-Use Quality Traits

Location: Grain Quality and Structure Research

Title: Characterization of cricket protein powder and impact of cricket protein powder replacement on wheat protein composition

item Perez-Fajardo, Mayra
item Bean, Scott
item IOERGER, BRIAN - Retired ARS Employee
item Tilley, Michael - Mike
item DOGAN, HULYA - Kansas State University

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2023
Publication Date: 5/1/2023
Citation: Perez-Fajardo, M.A., Bean, S.R., Ioerger, B., Tilley, M., Dogan, H. 2023. Characterization of cricket protein powder and impact of cricket protein powder replacement on wheat protein composition. Cereal Chemistry. 100,574-586.

Interpretive Summary: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates the world population to reach 9 billion by 2050, which will significantly increase the demand for dietary protein, necessitating the need for novel sources of dietary protein to be identified. The need for novel, sustainable food has led researchers to look for novel sources of protein, one of which being insects. There is little research regarding the enrichment of foods with insect proteins; therefore, further testing is necessary to see how the insect proteins would alter the final product characteristics. Thus the aim of this study was to compare the functionality of two commercially available cricket protein powders and evaluate how addition of the cricket protein powders influenced molecular weight distribution of proteins when added to wheat dough. The two commercial cricket protein powders varied in solubility, water holding capacity and protein molecular weight distribution. Similarly, the two powders differed in their interaction with wheat proteins with one powder increasing the amount of molecular weight of proteins important for wheat dough properties and the other decreasing the molecular weight. Therefore adding cricket protein powders to baked goods may alter dough handling properties and end-product quality.

Technical Abstract: Characterization of commercial cricket protein powders, GrioPro® (G) and Entomo Farms (E) was carried out by size exclusion high performance liquid chromatography (SEC-HPLC), and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Functionality of the cricket protein powders was examined by measuring water holding capacity (WHC) and protein solubility across a range of pH. SDS-PAGE analysis showed bands ranging from 40 kDa to 160 kDa for sample E while sample G had no visible bands either due to poor solubility in SDS-PAGE sample buffer and/or the presence of very high molecular proteins that did not enter the gel. Both cricket protein powders increased in WHC and solubility as the pH increased in alkalinity. Sample E absorbed ~2.5 times its weight in water which was significantly lower than G (~3.0 times) while sample G was significantly lower in solubility than E across all pH levels. To see the interactions between the cricket proteins in a food-based system wheat dough samples containing 10 or 20% replacement levels of the cricket powders were collected at peak torque development and analyzed to SEC-HPLC to quantify the change in soluble polymeric proteins (SPP) and insoluble polymeric proteins (IPP) and provide information on changes to protein molecular weight distribution. Wheat dough samples containing sample E had lower peak areas of IPP and no significant difference in SPP peak areas compared to the control. On the other hand, doughs containing sample G had a significant increase in IPP peak areas at the 20% replacement level. The difference in processing changed the functionality of G and E which impacted their interactions when added to a wheat dough-based system.