Mealworm insect protein - the farming and extraction of the food of the future


Putting the “meal” in “mealworm” isn’t as outlandish as you might think. As more issues arise about the environmental pressure the traditional meat industry puts on the planet, the global food supply, as well as the increasing world population, insect protein farming and processing is seen by many as the necessary next step to minimize the impact of these complications.

However, choosing mealworms and other insects as a new protein source isn’t just about necessity: there are many benefits to incorporating them in the diet of animals and humans alike. In the following article, we will discuss everything you need to know about this organic protein source, as well as the best equipment your insect farm can get for protein extraction!

Why mealworms and other insects gain popularity as an alternate source of protein

In light of the issues we’ve listed in our introduction, sustainable protein production that can achieve a low environmental impact will be one of the main challenges of the food and agricultural industry.

Edible insects such as mealworms could very well provide an answer to this challenge for many reasons, such as being effective feed converters (mealworms require much less feed to produce more meat than other farmed animals),as well as being a lot easier to handle. Their smaller size and life cycle will mean much less space needs to be used to raise them, which will also facilitate mass production. Not to mention that as opposed to cattle, pigs, or any other animal, insects do not suffer in confined spaces: they thrive.

Essentially, by needing much less resources to be farmed effectively, mealworms can both lighten the burden on the environment, as well as provide a relevant alternative source of income for those working within the agricultural industry.

But what about the consumers? Those who will actually have mealworms in their meals?

Why mealworm protein could find its way to people’s table

Acceptance for eating whole insects is still pretty low in the western world, even though they are already consumed in many other countries around the world: almost 80% of them, actually! However, insect protein extraction and processing could raise acceptance levels by providing insect-based foods and products (like mealworm protein powder),instead of whole roasted and grilled bugs.

Yellow mealworms are an especially attractive source of protein thanks to excellent nutritional values. Adding to the fact that they are a sustainable, organic food source, they could suit the needs of many different types of more eco-conscious consumers, and even athletes. Basically, mealworms are pretty healthy. Apart from a high protein content (fresh yellow mealworm larvae have a protein content of about 20%, and dried mealworms can reach as high as about 50%),they contain essential minerals, vitamins (B5 and B12),iron, zinc, as well as amino and fatty acids (Omega 3s),and fibres.

It’s clear mealworms have a lot going for them, but in order to make full use of these excellent nutritional values and provide consumers with quality end-products, a lot rides on the actual insect protein extraction procedure: to keep the protein content and quality high and not lose other vital components, very special methods have to be used that take into account factors such as protein solubility, fat and oil absorption capacity, and amino acid composition. This what we will discuss in detail in the next paragraph of this article.

Mealworm insect fat and protein extraction and processing made easy with Celitron’s ISS AGRI Facility

There are already ways to provide the supply for the already present demand for alternate protein sources. At Celitron, we’ve put all our experience from our previous Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder (ISS) concept, and invested a lot of resources in R&D to create an agriprotein technology that can serve the needs of anyone looking to invest and benefit from insect farming.

Protein extraction with Celitron’s ISS AGRI Facility is designed to be both easy and effective. This machine can easily be installed on-site, and uses a completely automated process to help you recover high quality fats and proteins for mealworms, or any other edible insect for that matter. So if you’re farming grasshoppers, ant, cockroaches, or BSF larvae, you can benefit from using this equipment just as well!

So how does it work exactly? This machine uses medical-grade sterilization to ensure the destruction of all potentially harmful substances. The temperatures inside the closed chamber of the ISS AGRI Facility can reach over 120 degrees Celisus, which also secures the ABP (androgen-binding) content of insect protein: this way, no nutritional value is lost while processing mealworms or other edible insects. It also uses robust shredding blades to render all manners of agricultural waste, as well as a decanter, separator, and dryer, so that you may collect all “end-products” separately. The perfect basis for dry insect protein powder!

Once you put a load inside Celitron’s ISS AGRI Facility, automatic locking procedures ensure the safety of all personnel on-site by preventing unauthorized interruptions. After that, the whole process can be completed within 30 minutes! Our machine is also perfectly in line with the more “green” concept of insect farming, and does in no way pollute the air, since it works as a closed system (incidentally, this also means you needn’t worry about unpleasant smells coming from the ISS). No to mention that apart from the low energy consumption, it also has low operating costs. 

Celitron’s goal with the ISS AGRI Facility is to present everyone with a win-win solution. It offers an effective solution to process insects as an alternate protein source in a changing world, provides a cost-effective solution for those looking to invest and make profits, and ensures an impeccable basis for the quality end-products consumers will receive when looking for organic food sources.

So if you want to get started with mealworm insect protein extraction, do not hesitate to contact us for more information: we have exactly what you need! 

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