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  • Author or Editor: E. Ruiz-May x
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Abstract

This study explores using insects as a high-quality protein source rich in bioactive peptides for human nutrition. The objectives include establishing optimal conditions for peptide extraction, identifying their sequences, and assessing their potential as antioxidants and antimicrobial agents in Arsenura armida flour. The protein content in the A. armida flour extract was 54%. To obtain potential antioxidant and antimicrobial peptides, a 10:1 and 1:1 enzyme (pepsin)/substrate ratio was employed, with digestion times of 2 h (A2) and 1 h (A4), respectively. The IC50 value for the antioxidant assay DPPH (2,2-Difenil-1-Picrilhidrazilo) was 22.5 μg/μL for A2. In the antioxidant in vivo assay with Caenorhabditis elegans, A2 peptides at concentrations of 0.75 μg/μL and 1.5 μg/μL exhibited a survival percentage ranging from 32.6% to 35.3%. The A4 sample demonstrated the highest antimicrobial activity, inhibiting the growth of Gram-positive bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus) with MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) values of 0.11 μg/mL and 0.23 μg/mL and MBC (minimum bactericidal concentration) of 0.23 μg/mL for both. Peptide analysis revealed that A2 contained peptides with identified antihypertensive (37%) and antioxidant (58%) activities, while A4 comprised peptides with antihypertensive (62%), antioxidant (31%), and antimicrobial (2%) properties. The antimicrobial peptides identified through the BIOPEP database were LFGF and FLLF. This investigation underscores the potential of A. armida peptides as valuable components in functional foods or nutraceuticals, offering health benefits beyond basic nutrition.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

Chicatana is the reproductive ant (male and female) of Atta mexicana specie (Smith, 1958). The abdomen is separated from the whole animal and traditionally used as food and medicinal remedy in the Estate of Veracruz (Mexico). It is rich in proteins and chitin. The insect protein concentrates (PCO) may be a way to valorise the edible insects. This research aimed to analyse the antioxidant, hypoglycaemic and antimicrobial activity in their edible form and as a protein concentrate. The results showed a protein concentrate with 56.18 ± 14.20 g protein/100 g. The chitin content of the edible abdomen was 16.05 g/100 g of dry matter. The edible part of the ant and the protein concentrate resulted in high antioxidant activity and some hypoglycemic activity. However, no antimicrobial activity could be found in either sample. Thus, the abdomen of Chicatana ants consumed in Veracruz may be a functional protein-rich food with antioxidant activity.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed