Exploring the protein content and odor-active compounds of black soldier fly larvae for future food applications

Lachinkhanim Huseynli (Corresponding Author), Tuure Parviainen, Tiiu Kyllönen, Heikki Aisala, Kristel Vene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens L., BSF) larvae are a promising alternative for future sustainable nutrient sources both as feed and food. However, the scientific investigation of BSF larvae is still limited, especially on the flavor chemistry aspects of understanding consumer acceptance. This research examined the odor-active compounds and protein content of BSF larvae. Whole and partially defatted BSF larvae meals were compared to an anchovy fish meal. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and gas chromatography/olfactometry were employed to determine and identify the odor-active compounds of BSF larvae and observe the differences in volatile composition between fat-reduced samples. 95 volatile and more than 40 odor-active compounds were detected in the BSF larvae and anchovy fish meal. Overall BSF larvae meal odor profile was characterized by having more fishy, earthy, cheesy, and roasted notes. Trimethylamine, acetic acid, 3-methylbutanoic acid were considered by assessors as key off-flavor compounds contributing undesirable smell in BSF larvae meal. The defatting process slightly affected the overall odor profile; however, it did not change the volatile composition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100224
Number of pages8
JournalFuture Foods
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Black soldier fly larvae
  • GC/MS
  • GC/O
  • Odor-active compounds
  • Off-flavor
  • Protein content
  • Volatile composition


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