Chemical and structural characterization of lipids of mealworm larvae grown on various wheat mill substrates


Posted on 19 October 2018 by Makhosi Mahlangu


Tenebrio molitor (mealworms) are able to consume a wide range of organic matter and can be of significant value in waste management. The nutritional profile of T. molitor makes it a suitable candidate for use as feed and food.

Mealworm oil extraction using a Soxhlet extractor

Wheat mill residues and olive mill pomace can be potential rearing substrates for mealworms. In order to examine the effects of various wheat oil residues and olive mill pomace on the oil fraction of mealworms, larvae were reared on the following substrates: Biological white flour (100%), Farinaccio (100%), farinaccio 75% + olive pomace 25%, Farinaccio 50% + olive pomace 50%, Farinaccio 25% + olive pomace 25% and olive pomace 100%.

There were high survival rates in all the sections except in the Sansa fraction which had a 100% mortality rate. The total oil content produced by the T. molitor varied from 36.58 to 43.92%, attained from substrate fractions with an oil fraction of between 2.51% to 12.67%. The insects also had oleic acid and linoleic acid as the abundant fatty acids in T. molitor, raised on wheat and olive oil mill residues. The consumption of linoleic acid and ∝-linoleic acid is associated with good health.