Infrared Assisted Freeze-Drying (IRAFD) to Produce Shelf-Stable Insect Food from Protaetia brevitarsis (white-spotted flower chafer) Larva
Received: Jul 13, 2020 ; Revised: Jul 26, 2020 ; Accepted: Jul 28, 2020
Published Online: Jul 29, 2020
In this study, the potential of infrared assisted freeze-drying (IRAFD) was tested for the production of shelf-stable edible insects: Protaetia brevitarsis larva (larva of white-spotted flower chafer). The IRAFD system was customized using an infrared lamp, K-type thermocouple, controller, and data acquisition system. The infrared lamp provided the sublimation energy for rapid freeze-drying (FD). The IRAFD conditions were continuous IRAFD-5.0 kW/m2 and IRAFD-5.0 kW/m2 at different weight reduction (WR) (10%, 20%, and 30%). The continuous IRAFD reduced the drying time to 247 min compared to the 2833 min duration of FD (P<0.05). The electrical energy could be reduced by more than 90 % through infrared radiation during FD (P<0.05). The Page model resulted in the best prediction among the tested drying kinetic models. In terms of quality, IRAFD showed significantly lower hardness, chewiness, and higher protein levels than hot air drying and FD (P<0.05). IRAFD better preserved the glutamic acid (6.30-7.29 g/100g) and proline (3.84-5.54 g/100g). The external product appearance after IRAFD exhibited more air pockets and volume expansion, which might result in a good consumer appeal. In conclusion, this study reported on the potential of IRAFD in producing shelf-stable and value-added edible insects.