Eﬀect of hot melt extrusion on physical and functional properties of insect based extruded products
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The use of alternative protein sources is widely investigated nowadays to ensure a suﬃcient and nutritious diet for the society. Among diﬀerent possibilities, insects are currently considered a sustainable and eﬃcient alternative to study more in deep. To this purpose, the present work investigates the use of hot melt extrusion to produce pellets made of insect ﬂour (Hermetia illucens) used alone or mixed in diﬀerent ratios (1:1 to 1:3) with corn ﬂour. The samples were analysed in terms of physical properties as moisture content, color, water activity, and functional properties as water absorption index, water solubility index, oil sorption and viscosity.The results of the physical properties showed that the color of the pellets was greatly inﬂuenced by the blends used: dark brown for insect ﬂour and yellowish for corn ﬂour. Pure insect ﬂour pellets had the lowest water absorption index(2.1 ± 0.3%) and the highest water solubility index (16.8 ± 0.3). The viscoamilographic proﬁles showed that the addition of the insect ﬂour aﬀected the pasting properties of the formulations. Overall, the results indicate the possibility to include insect ﬂour during the extrusion process as potential source of proteins.