The analysis, carried out as part of the SILK PLUS Project, provides a review of the data currently available and suggestions for future studies.
“Insects” is an international journal of entomology published by MPD monthly; it is open-access and peer-reviewed.
This article belongs to “Silkworm and Silk: Traditional and Innovative Applications”, the special issue that has been already developed during 2021, and recently extended for other six months until the end of June 2022, with the aim of giving a comprehensive overview of the fields and applications for which the silkworm can be exploited.
Nutritional Composition of Bombyx mori Pupae: A Systematic Review
The mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori) is a domesticated insect traditionally reared to produce silk. Its pupae are historically eaten in Asian countries and are obtained as waste products from the silk reeling industry. Pupae are a promising novel food in Western countries as well as a source of proteins, lipids, and minerals. Several varied results are reported in the literature regarding the nutrient composition of silkworm pupa, and several factors must be considered when comparing the research. Some of the variables that could affect the pupal nutritional content include rearing techniques, diets, silkworm strains, killing, and drying techniques. This literature systematic review identifies the most important research areas and aids authorities and producers in the evaluation and development of silkworm pupae for novel uses.
As insects have started to enter the eating habits of Western countries, an increasing amount of literature regarding the mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori) prospective application as food has been published. Despite this growing interest, there is currently no systematic review of silkworm nutritional composition available. In this paper, we performed a systematic review of the recent available literature on the nutrient composition of mulberry silkworm pupae. After screening the titles and abstracts of 14,008 studies retrieved from three scientific databases, data about nutrients was extracted from 29 selected papers, together with their related variables. This systematic review provides an overview of the variety of data reported in the literature and highlights that many elements contribute to hindering a sound comparison of the different nutritional values reported for silkworm pupae. The observed variability of the composition data reported could be due to differences in diet, strains, pretreatments, and origin of the silkworm analyzed. However, all these variables were not always available and should be reported in future studies to simplify the data comparison.
This research was funded by the funding programme “POR FESR 2014–2020 Regione del Veneto, Bando per il sostegno a progetti sviluppati da aggregazioni di imprese”. Project name: “SILK-PLUS: Rivalutazione dei sottoprodotti della filiera serica in campo cosmetico e alimentare”.
Luca Tassoni (1,2), Silvia Cappellozza (1), Antonella Dalle Zotte (2), Simone Belluco (3), Pietro Antonelli (3), Filippo Marzoli (3), Alessio Saviane (1).
(1) Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CREA-AA) – Padua, Italy
(2) Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health – University of Padua, Agripolis – Italy
(3) IZSVe | Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie – Padua, Italy
Academic Editor: Toru Shimada