Chinese scholars have made new progress in the field of silkworm pupae enzymatic processing

Recently, the team of Professor Wang Jun of the School of Biotechnology of Jiangsu University of Science and Technology and the Institute of Sericulture of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences proposed a new strategy for simultaneous extraction of edible insect oil and protein by a new hydroenzymatic method of CNPs@Cu-Trypsin based on copper ion promotion biocatalysis, and made a new breakthrough in the field of enzymatic processing of edible insect resources. The relevant results were published in Chemical Engineering, a top international journal in the field of engineering technology and chemistry and chemical engineering.

According to reports, with the proposal of China’s “big food view”, edible insects have become an ideal food resource to be developed. As the country with the world’s earliest sericulture and the largest silk production, the comprehensive utilization of silk co-product, silkworm pupae, is of great significance to extend the sericulture industry chain and increase the added value.

Based on the concept of green chemistry, the development and utilization of silkworm pupae nutrients will promote the sustainable development of sericulture cocoon silk industry. At present, most of the silkworm pupae oil adopts solvent extraction method, which requires the use of a large number of organic solvents, which has both flammable and explosive risks and solvent residues, and the process does not simultaneously develop the rich proteins in silkworm pupae, resulting in the processing process of its oil and protein being separated from each other.

In contrast, hydroenzymatic method can release lipids by hydrolyzing silkworm pupae protein under mild conditions, which is an ideal method for simultaneous processing of lipids and protein resources in biological resources. However, the free enzymes used in traditional hydroenzymatic methods are difficult to recover and remain in native proteins, and conventional immobilized enzyme methods often result in a significant decrease in enzyme activity.

In response to the above problems, the team proposed a new strategy to modify the catalytic characteristics of immobilized enzyme microenvironment-enhanced enzymes, that is, immobilized proteases by crosslinking ferric oxide nanoparticles (CNPs) by chitosan, and then chelating metal ions to prepare a new immobilized protease CNPs@Cu-Trypsin strengthened by metal ions, which was used to construct a novel hydroenzymatic processing technology for simultaneous extraction of edible insect oils and proteins.

Schematic diagram of the synthesis of CNP@Cu-Trypsin (A) and its application in the novel water enzymatic method (B) Courtesy of Jiangsu University of Science and Technology

It is understood that the new water enzymatic processing technology realizes the magnetic recovery of catalysts in solid materials and has good reusability performance. The novel biocatalyst CNPs@Cu-Trypsin can form an independent micro-catalytic unit to hydrolyze the silkworm pupae protein dissolved in large particles of silkworm pupae powder layer by layer with the help of the micro-water environment on its surface, while the magnetic core of CNPs@Cu-Trypsin can ensure its recovery effect and significantly reduce the risk of protein hydrolysate being contaminated by protease.

The new hydroenzymatic processing process can realize the simultaneous separation of grease and protein in solid materials, and the new catalyst can reduce the reaction temperature and shorten the reaction time while maintaining a high oil extraction rate. The new hydroenzymatic processing technology can obtain low acid value oils without affecting the fatty acid composition and triglyceride composition, which can provide good raw materials for the development of functional oils and fats. The biological activity of silkworm pupal protein hydrolysate obtained simultaneously increased significantly. Therefore, the new hydroenzymatic processing process can realize the simultaneous processing of oil and protein components in solid materials, which can provide a new strategy for the green development of edible insect resources. (Source: Chen Bin, China Science News)

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