The following information builds upon the model developed and published by the Good Food Institute (GFI). You can download their entire guide to plant proteins here. 

Legend/Key for protein analysis
Table comparing soy, pea, cricket, and mealworm proteins

Defatted Mealworm Protein Powder

Protein Concentration: 64%

PDCAAS: .80 or better

Allergen Risk: similar to shellfish

Commercial Stage: very few large scale growers. Ynsect (France) moving from R&D to Startup phase w/ 100,000 metric ton / yr facility in 2022 primaily to support aquaculture

Flavor: nutty/earthy

Functionality: foaming, gelling/binding, and emulsification similar to egg albumen

Cost: very limited data on wholesale prices; retail prices typically exceed $100/kg

Global Crop Volume: unknown; most likely under .1 MMT for food. Unclear how much is produced for animal feed.


Amino acid comparisons of mealworms, whey, cricket, soy, and pea proteins

The amino acid data above is expressed in percentages. 

Mealworms score higher on the sum of essential amino acids (ΣEAA) with 45 grams per 100 grams, compared to Whey (34 grams), Crickets (39 grams), Soy (20 grams), and Pea (24 grams). 


1. Planet Bugs, LLC lab testing




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4. Son Y-J, Choi SY, Hwang I-K, Nho CW, Kim SH. Could Defatted Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) and Mealworm Oil Be Used as Food Ingredients? Foods. 2020; 9(1):40.


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