Thunder Foods is part of the CHEERS project, whose primary objective is to reduce the environmental impact and enhance resource efficiency in bio-based industries. In this post they will unveil the potential of Tenebrio molitor at CHEERS.

Tenebrio molitor at CHEERS project

One of CHEERS Project’s objectives is to optimize a recipe for Tenebrio molitor larvae using drenches and yeast. Thunder Foods will utilize a mechanical process to separate protein and oil from dehydrated larvae. Meanwhile, AINIA is developing a laboratory method for protein and oil extraction. These differing methods are being studied to assess their impact on the quantity and quality of protein and oil, as well as their scalability.

Currently, Thunder Foods has sent Tenebrio molitor protein to AINIA for comprehensive characterization. This protein will serve as a reference material for comparison with AINIA’s extraction method. AINIA will conduct analyses on chemical composition, physical-chemical properties and solubility. Initial results show promising protein content! This protein will be incorporated into a beverage developed by Mahou – San Miguel, offering nutritional advantages such as high protein content, phosphorus, and a favorable amino acid profile. Moreover, scientific studies have documented its beneficial effects on human health, including anti-hypertensive and antioxidant activities.

The role of Thunder Foods

Thunder Foods S.A. is a Portuguese biotechnology company established in April 2021 with the ambition of becoming the foremost producer of Tenebrio molitor worldwide. In the short term, Thunder Foods aims to stabilize its biotechnology processes and progress towards the engineering, installation, and testing of a Pilot Industrial Unit. This endeavor involves scaling up the production of Tenebrio molitor protein for human consumption and manufacturing organic insect fertilizer.