Freezing mealworms

I got started breeding mealworms a few weeks ago after seeing the robins devouring some I had bought. Afraid I went overboard and bought 1kilo of breeding stock and the way the pupae are churning out I am going to be overloaded. Thinking about selling the surplus locally. ( for birds, reptiles or fishermen etc.) I would welcome advice on storage of the live surplus and/or how to dry them. Do I just bung them in the freezer for a while and then just store them until sold or is there more to it than that?

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  • Hi lincdales, - People buying them for non-human feed want them live, as larvae; put larvae (different customers prefer different size larvae). They survive a long time kept that cool, when taken out they warm up & you'll see they move - which is what makes them alluring feed bait. (pupae have less allure).

    Elsewhere in Forum I describe my personal method of human consumption; try search function for phrase "fermented" mealworms (I think). After cleaning/washing/boiling/rinsing/draining I submerge them in whey, close vessel lid having cheap airlock (beer brewing supply source) & refrigerate the whey ("fermenter") covered larvae after a day or 2 counter top fermentation (whey bacteria feed on larval carbohydrates, CO2 is generated, spume foams out from the airlock (put plate/bowl to catch overflow) yet no outside air gets in through the airlock to "spoil" the larvae. I kept an experimental batch of "fermented" larvae in home refrigerator for 1 year that came out fine; it's OK to top up with fresh whey if looks like level dropped too much.

    You can probably search how I then use the fermented larvae for eating. To sell this for human consumption is probably going to require finding out about your local food safety regulations; if in USA it will include qualifying with a legal kitchen. But then too, selling fresh insects for human consumption has to conform with health statutes.

  • Possibly one way to sell insects is to form a buyers club; members associate by signing into a collective organization & then sell to each other (no general public allowed). You would want legal counsel on this & even if this removes personal liability that does no automatically mean enforcement of an unknown to you statute would never come along (think product seizure/destruction &/or premises closure, etc.).

    Now if you can create a sealed dry packaged end product that has low biological activity these types of edible bugs for human consumption have been legally sold. Bugs as ingredients in fresh prepared food establishment meals are also legit (need restaurant or food truck code compliant kitchen).

    Maybe someone who freezes their mealworms will detail how they end process them. Although I never bothered to make them into dry meal assume the larvae can be dried (sun/oven/pan toasted) & then ground like done for rustic cricket "flour".

    By the way, I cull out most pupae can from " fermented" larvae so can not tell you if they make an inferior tasting product - they are certainly less visually appealing. You can go to "Data Resources" to track down some of the nutritional composition differences of mealworm larvae vs. pupae. My personal opinion is you should shift to using some pupae for colony breeding & when sure are able to perpetuate the size of herds you want harvest late stage larvae for use.

    " heyBy the way, I cull out most pupae

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