Health benefits of co-supplementing mealworm protein hydrolysate and cranberry fruit extract

Main Article Content

Jae Hong Park
Sang In Lee
Woo Sung Kwon
Sungbo Cho
In Ho Kim


cranberry, extracts, immunity, inflammation, mealworm, microbiota


The demand for valuable protein sources is increasing. The mealworm has been highlighted as a good source of protein. Nevertheless, beneficial effects of mealworm such as the antioxidative and/or anti-inflammatory effects are rarely studied. It is well-known that cranberry fruit has a strong antioxidant effect. The biologically active compounds in mealworm and cranberry could boost the antioxidative and/or anti-inflammatory effects. The current study investigated the interactive effects of mealworm protein hydrolysate (MWPH) and cranberry fruit extract (CFE) in mammals. We evaluated growth performance, relative organ weight, immune responses, antioxidant enzyme activities, blood properties, and fecal microflora. A 2 × 2 factorial experimental design was used. The co-supplementation of MWPH and CFE improved serum glutathione peroxidase. MWPH affected a lower serum IL-1β and fecal Clostridium density. The co-supplementation appeared more effective in terms of good health and potentially the prevention of disease.

Abstract 454 | PDF Downloads 963 HTML Downloads 412 XML Downloads 391


Anhê, F.F., Nachbar, R.T., Varin, T.V., Vilela, V., Dudonné, S., Pilon, G., Fournier, M., Lecours, M.-A., Desjardins, Y. and Roy, D., 2017. A polyphenol-rich cranberry extract reverses insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis independently of body weight loss. Molecular Metabolism 6(12): 1563–1573. 10.1016/j.molmet.2017.10.003

Arango Duque, G. and Descoteaux, A., 2014. Macrophage cytokines: involvement in immunity and infectious diseases. Frontiers in Immunology 5: 491. 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00491

Ariga, T., 2004. The antioxidative function, preventive action on disease and utilization of proanthocyanidins. Biofactors 21(1–4): 197–201. 10.1002/biof.552210140

Arihara, K., Nakashima, Y., Mukai, T., Ishikawa, S. and Itoh, M., 2001. Peptide inhibitors for angiotensin I-converting enzyme from enzymatic hydrolysates of porcine skeletal muscle proteins. Meat Science 57(3): 319–324. 10.1016/S0309-1740(00)00108-X

Bovera, F., Piccolo, G., Gasco, L., Marono, S., Loponte, R., Vassalotti, G., Mastellone, V., Lombardi, P., Attia, Y. and Nizza, A., 2015. Yellow mealworm larvae (Tenebrio molitor, L.) as a possible alternative to soybean meal in broiler diets. British Poultry Science 56(5): 569–575. 10.1080/00071668.2015.1080815

Brown, P.N. and Shipley, P.R., 2011. Determination of anthocyanins in cranberry fruit and cranberry fruit products by high--performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection: single-laboratory validation. Journal of AOAC International 94(2): 459–466. 10.1093/jaoac/94.2.459

Chen, Y., Tang, J., Wang, X., Sun, F. and Liang, S., 2012. An immunostimulatory polysaccharide (SCP-IIa) from the fruit of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 50(3): 844–848. 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2011.11.015

Cho, J.-W., An, T.-H., Lee, S.-Y. and Park, K.W., 2012. Determination of total content of phenolic compounds in Chinese matrimony vine’s accessions. Korean Journal of Crop Science 57(4): 409–417. 10.7740/kjcs.2012.57.4.409

Di Mattia, C., Battista, N., Sacchetti, G. and Serafini, M., 2019. Antioxidant activities in vitro of water and liposoluble extracts obtained by different species of edible insects and invertebrates. Frontiers in Nutrition 6:106. 10.3389/fnut.2019.00106

Duthie, S.J., Jenkinson, A.M., Crozier, A., Mullen, W., Pirie, L., Kyle, J., Yap, L.S., Christen, P. and Duthie, G.G., 2006. The effects of cranberry juice consumption on antioxidant status and biomarkers relating to heart disease and cancer in healthy human volunteers. European Journal of Nutrition 45(2), 113–122. 10.1007/s00394-005-0572-9

Feghali, K., Feldman, M., La, V.D., Santos, J. and Grenier, D., 2012. Cranberry proanthocyanidins: natural weapons against periodontal diseases. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 60(23): 5728–5735. 10.1021/jf203304v

Girodet, P.-O., Nguyen, D., Mancini, J.D., Hundal, M., Zhou, X., Israel, E. and Cernadas, M., 2016. Alternative macrophage activation is increased in asthma. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 55(4): 467–475. 10.1165/rcmb.2015-0295OC

Hamed, I., Özogul, F. and Regenstein, J.M., 2016. Industrial applications of crustacean by-products (chitin, chitosan, and chitooligosaccharides): a review. Trends in Food Science & Technology 48: 40–50. 10.1016/j.tifs.2015.11.007

Henry, M., Gai, F., Enes, P., Peréz-Jiménez, A. and Gasco, L., 2018. Effect of partial dietary replacement of fishmeal by yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) larvae meal on the innate immune response and intestinal antioxidant enzymes of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Fish & Shellfish Immunology 83: 308–313. 10.1016/j.fsi.2018.09.040

Heyman-Lindén, L., Kotowska, D., Sand, E., Bjursell, M., Plaza, M., Turner, C., Holm, C., Fåk, F. and Berger, K., 2016. Lingonberries alter the gut microbiota and prevent low-grade inflammation in high-fat diet fed mice. Food & Nutrition Research 60(1): 29993. 10.3402/fnr.v60.29993

Hong, J., Han, T. and Kim, Y.Y., 2020. Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor Larvae) as an alternative protein source for monogastric animal: a review. Animals 10(11): 2068. 10.3390/ani10112068

Ido, A., Hashizume, A., Ohta, T., Takahashi, T., Miura, C. and Miura, T., 2019. Replacement of fish meal by defatted yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) larvae in diet improves growth performance and disease resistance in red seabream (Pargus major). Animals 9(3): 100. 10.3390/ani9030100

Jeong, S.-M., Khosravi, S., Yoon, K.-Y., Kim, K.-W., Lee, B.-J., Hur, S.-W. and Lee, S.-M., 2021. Mealworm, Tenebrio molitor, as a feed ingredient for juvenile olive flounder, Paralichthys olivaceus. Aquaculture Reports 20: 100747. 10.1016/j.aqrep.2021.100747

Kim, N.H., Choi, D.W. and Song, K.B., 2013. Preparation of chicken feather protein hydrolysates and isolation of iron-binding peptides. Korean Journal of Food Preservation 20(3): 435–439. 10.11002/kjfp.2013.20.3.435

Kim, S., Kim, J., Oh, H., Kang, S., Koo, H., Kim, H. and Choi, H., 2014. Feed supplementation of yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor L.) improves blood characteristics and meat quality in broiler. Trends in Agriculture & Life Sciences 49: 9–18. 10.29335/tals.2014.49.9

Kim, T.-K., Shin, H.-D. and Lee, Y.-H., 2003. Stabilization of polyphenolic antioxidants using inclusion complexation with cyclodextrin and their utilization as the fresh-food preservative. Korean Journal of Food Science and Technology 35(2): 266–271.

Lee, H.-S., Ryu, H.-J., Song, H.-J. and Lee, S.-O., 2017. Enzymatic preparation and antioxidant activities of protein hydrolysates from Protaetia brevitarsis larvae. Journal of the Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition 46(10): 1164–1170.

Liu, T., Zhang, L., Joo, D. and Sun, S.-C., 2017. NF-κB signaling in inflammation. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy 2(1): 17023. 10.1038/sigtrans.2017.23

Livak, K.J. and Schmittgen, T.D., 2001. Analysis of relative gene expression data using real-time quantitative PCR and the 2− ΔΔCT method. Methods 25(4): 402–408. 10.1006/meth.2001.1262

Matheswaran, P., Raja, L. and Gani, S., 2019. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory efficacy of functional proteins obtained from seven edible insects. International Journal of Entomology Research 4: 24–31.

Ringø, E., Zhou, Z., Olsen, R. and Song, S., 2012. Use of chitin and krill in aquaculture–the effect on gut microbiota and the immune system: a review. Aquaculture Nutrition 18(2): 117–131. 10.1111/j.1365-2095.2011.00919.x

Ringseis, R., Peter, L., Gessner, D.K., Meyer, S., Most, E. and Eder, K., 2021. Effect of Tenebrio molitor larvae meal on the antioxidant status and stress response pathways in tissues of growing pigs. Archives of Animal Nutrition 75(4): 237–250. 10.1080/1745039X.2021.1950106

Roopchand, D.E., Carmody, R.N., Kuhn, P., Moskal, K., Rojas-Silva, P., Turnbaugh, P.J. and Raskin, I., 2015. Dietary polyphenols promote growth of the gut bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila and attenuate high-fat diet–induced metabolic syndrome. Diabetes 64(8): 2847–2858. 10.2337/db14-1916

Rumpold, B.A. and Schlüter, O.K., 2013. Nutritional composition and safety aspects of edible insects. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 57(5): 802–823. 10.1002/mnfr.201200735

Rupasinghe, H., Boehm, M., Sekhon-Loodu, S., Parmar, I., Bors, B. and Jamieson, A.R., 2015. Anti-inflammatory activity of haskap cultivars is polyphenols-dependent. Biomolecules 5(2): 1079–1098. 10.3390/biom5021079

Sato, Y., Ohshima, T. and Kondo, T., 1999. Regulatory role of endogenous interleukin-10 in cutaneous inflammatory response of murine wound healing. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 265(1): 194–199. 10.1006/bbrc.1999.1455

Seo, M., Lee, H.J., Lee, J.H., Baek, M., Kim, I.-W., Kim, S.Y., Hwang, J.-S. and Kim, M., 2019. A study of the anti-inflammatory effect of protein derived from Tenebrio molitor larvae. Journal of Life Science 29(8): 854–860.

Shockley, M. and Dossey, A.T., 2014. Insects for human consumption. In: Mass production of beneficial organisms. Elsevier, pp. 617–652.

Song, Y.S., Kim, M.W., Moon, C., Seo, D.J., Han, Y.S., Jo, Y.H., Noh, M.Y., Park, Y.K., Kim, S.A. and Kim, Y.W., 2018. Extraction of chitin and chitosan from larval exuvium and whole body of edible mealworm, Tenebrio molitor. Entomological Research 48(3): 227–233. 10.1111/1748-5967.12304

Turner, M.D., Nedjai, B., Hurst, T. and Pennington, D.J., 2014. Cytokines and chemokines: at the crossroads of cell signalling and inflammatory disease. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Cell Research 1843(11): 2563–2582. 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2014.05.014

Van Huis, A., 2013. Potential of insects as food and feed in assuring food security. Annual Review of Entomology 58: 563–583. 10.1146/annurev-ento-120811-153704

Vvedenskaya, I.O. and Vorsa, N., 2004. Flavonoid composition over fruit development and maturation in American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait. Plant Science 167(5): 1043–1054. 10.1016/j.plantsci.2004.06.001

Xing, L., Li, G., Toldrá, F. and Zhang, W., 2021. The physiological activity of bioactive peptides obtained from meat and meat by-products. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research No. 97. Elsevier, pp. 147–185.

Yi, L., Lakemond, C.M., Sagis, L.M., Eisner-Schadler, V., van Huis, A. and van Boekel, M.A., 2013. Extraction and-characterisation of protein fractions from five insect species. Food Chemistry 141(4): 3341–3348. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.05.115

Yu, M.-H., Lee, H.-S., Cho, H.-R. and Lee, S.-O., 2017. Enzymatic preparation and antioxidant activities of protein hydrolysates from Tenebrio molitor larvae (Mealworm). Journal of the Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition 46(4): 435–441. 10.3746/jkfn.2017.46.4.435

Zheng, W. and Wang, S.Y., 2003. Oxygen radical absorbing capacity of phenolics in blueberries, cranberries, chokeberries, and lingonberries. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51(2): 502–509. 10.1021/jf020728u