Aroma Characteristics of Raw and Cooked Tenebrio molitor Larvae (Mealworms)
Received: Feb 05, 2020 ; Revised: Mar 10, 2020 ; Accepted: Apr 24, 2020
Published Online: May 07, 2020
This study compared aroma compositions and sensory aroma attributes of raw and cooked Tenebrio molitor larvae (mealworms). Main sensory aroma attributes of raw mealworms were strong wet-soil-like, and less-intense oily, shrimp-like and sweet-corn-like. Quantitatively, the major aroma components of raw mealworms were hydrocarbons and aldehydes. As cooking proceeded, sweet-corn-like, roasted, and fried-oil-like sensory attributes were increasingly perceived with steaming, roasting, and frying, respectively. Some pyrazines, pyrrolidines, and carbonyls increased or appeared in roasted and fried mealworms. Partial least squares regression also showed differences in raw and cooked mealworms based on aroma components and their sensory attributes. Unlike raw mealworms, steamed mealworms had a relatively strong sweet-corn-like aroma attribute, which was related to 2,4,6-trimethyl-heptane, 2,4-dimethyl-dodecane, and 3,5-dihydroxy-6-methyl-2,3-dihydropyran-4-one. In comparison, roasted and fried mealworms exhibited roasted, shrimp-like, and fried-oil-like aroma attributes, which were associated with intermediates of the Maillard reaction and lipid oxidation, such as pyrazines, alcohols, and aldehydes. This result during thermal reactions was very similar to those of meat and/or seafood. The use of mealworms as a savory-type flavor enhancer can be expected.