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Facts about Edible Mealworms

The following information applies to mealworms raised for human consumption in western diets - either as whole insects or as ingredients (powders and oils). Information specific to Planet Bugs is marked in italics.


Grown in the US, Canada, UK, and across the EU

Genetic Modification: currently none, but in R&D 

Available as whole insects, powders, and oils

Powder either ground whole or defatted into a concentrate; no isolate in market

Oils not yet in market, but in R&D as potential replacement for Palm Oil

Processing methods: various chemical and mechanical
Hardy - can grow in most conditions, typically grown indoors in stacked trays
R&D limited, underdeveloped source

Functional Properties:

Solubility: variable - low values at neutral pH (20-30%), but moderate 60-70% at 11-12 pH
Gelling/Binding: higher than Soy and similar to egg albumen
Foaming: similar to egg albumen. However, other research reported significantly lower values
Emulsion: similar to egg albumen. Note this result was consistent with prior research
Nutty/earthy flavor


PDCAAS: .80 or better
Limiting AA: Methionine
High protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc
Allergenicity: High (similar to shellfish), but research and data is limited


Bakery, pasta, protein bars, shakes