Texture and Quality of Chickpea Dough and 3D-Printed Snacks with Insect Powders

Jim Crocker
23rd May, 2024

Texture and Quality of Chickpea Dough and 3D-Printed Snacks with Insect Powders

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by Universitat Rovira i Virgili explored how adding edible insect powders to dough affects its properties
  • Doughs with higher concentrations of insect powders became thicker and more elastic, making them harder to print
  • Snacks made with lesser mealworm powder were crispier and had a texture similar to regular snacks
Edible insect powder is emerging as a novel ingredient to enhance the functional and nutritional properties of food products. However, its incorporation into bakery goods can potentially alter the dough's technological and sensory attributes. A recent study conducted by researchers at Universitat Rovira i Virgili aimed to investigate these alterations and examine the texture of salty snacks produced using a 3D food printer[1]. The study prepared doughs using varying quantities of two types of edible insect powders: Alphitobius diaperinus (lesser mealworm) and Locusta migratoria (migratory locust). The researchers found that the doughs exhibited pseudoplastic behavior, meaning their viscosity decreased under shear stress, which is common in substances like ketchup or yogurt. This behavior fit well with a power-law equation, indicating a predictable relationship between shear rate and viscosity. Notably, both viscosity and pseudoplasticity increased with higher insect powder concentrations, with the most substantial effect observed for L. migratoria. In terms of linear viscoelastic behavior, which describes how a material deforms and recovers under stress, the G′ values (storage modulus) exceeded the G″ values (loss modulus). This indicates that the doughs behaved more like elastic solids than viscous liquids. Both moduli increased with higher insect concentrations, suggesting a stiffer dough structure. Interestingly, A. migratoria displayed a greater elastic contribution (lower tan δ) compared to A. diaperinus, correlating with its lower printability in 3D food printing. The texture of the snacks prepared with A. diaperinus showed an increase in breaking force as the insect concentration increased, aligning closely with the control sample and the 4.6% insect powder sample. Additionally, the inclusion of A. diaperinus enhanced the crispiness of the snacks. Previous studies have explored various aspects of incorporating insect powders into food products. For instance, one study found that adding ground Acheta domesticus (house cricket) to oat biscuits improved their nutritional quality without significantly affecting texture[2]. Another study successfully identified commercial insect powders using infrared spectroscopy and multivariate analysis, demonstrating the potential for authenticating insect-based ingredients in food products[3]. Additionally, research has shown that hydrolyzing whole crickets can improve their functional properties, making them suitable as alternative protein sources in food formulations[4]. The current study builds on these earlier findings by exploring the specific effects of different insect powders on dough and snack properties. The increased viscosity and pseudoplasticity observed in doughs with higher insect powder concentrations align with the improved functional properties reported in previous studies[4]. The enhanced crispiness and texture profile of snacks containing A. diaperinus also support the potential for insect powders to improve sensory attributes in food products[2]. Moreover, the use of 3D food printing in this study highlights the innovative applications of additive manufacturing in the food industry. Previous reviews have discussed the promise of 3D food printing to create personalized and nutritionally tailored food products[5]. The current study's findings on the printability and texture of insect-enriched snacks contribute valuable insights into the practical applications of this technology. In summary, the study conducted by Universitat Rovira i Virgili demonstrates that adding edible insect powders to dough can significantly alter its technological and sensory properties. The findings provide a deeper understanding of how different insect powders affect dough behavior and snack texture, paving the way for innovative and nutritious food products.



Main Study

1) Rheological and Textural Characterisation of Chickpea Dough and Baked 3D-Printed Snacks Enriched with Alphitobius diaperinus and Locusta migratoria Powders

Published 22nd May, 2024


Related Studies

2) Cricket-Enriched Oat Biscuit: Technological Analysis and Sensory Evaluation.


3) ATR-FTIR Spectroscopy Combined with Multivariate Analysis Successfully Discriminates Raw Doughs and Baked 3D-Printed Snacks Enriched with Edible Insect Powder.


4) Functional properties of tropical banded cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus) protein hydrolysates.


5) How to Formulate for Structure and Texture via Medium of Additive Manufacturing-A Review.


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