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best way to dry locusts

Hi, I am wondering what the best process for drying locusts is.

I am currently experimenting with different combinations of freezing, blanching, short drying on higher temperature(5h, 75C), longer drying on lower temperature(15h, 60C), with/without infra-red etc. So far haven't come to a conclusion as to what the best way is. Any opinions / standard processes here?

Some things I've found out so far:

1) Blanching for about 40s or longer makes locusts turn red

2) Blanching for about 2 minutes or longer makes them look "flat" (as if the insides disappeared)

3) Drying for shorter period on higher temp seems to make them better tasting (subjectively)

4) No change in color if blanching is skipped (as opposed to mealworms, which turn black)

Don't know if skipping blanching increases pathogens or not (I want to first figure out a good process before sending to a lab for testing)

Comments

  • "High hydrostatic pressure" is a technology mimicking deep sea hiperbaric conditions already used in the food industry for microbial control. Spain's P.S. Contreras' "Inactivacion de microorganismos contaminantes naturales y Salmonela typhimurium en larvas de moscas soldado negra (Hermetia ilucens) mediante tratamientos de alta presion hidrostatica HHP" shows you can process your insects at relatively low temperature.

    He froze larva for 1 hour & then dried them at 50°C. Then the dry insects were bagged, surrounded in a (hydrostatic) fluid of 70% water + 30% ethyleneglycol to sustain high pressure at no more than 30°C.

    At 350 MPa sustained for 15 minutes there was total inactivation in viable salmonela cells ( "... inactivacion completa ... de celulas viables.") Table 2 lists microbes & "mohos y levaduras" means molds & yeasts.

    In conclusion sections 2nd paragraph mention is that with modern (freeze dry) or traditional (toast) methods there is not sufficient microbial reductions & many rehydrated return to active state. Which could cause problems if the product does not later get an adequate cooking process before being eaten. As for microbial control based on heat: this can affect the nutritional values & sensory properties.

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