An introduction of Melissa Hofker Intern at Wadudu:
My name is Melissa Hofker, I follow the MBO4 course in food technology in Leeuwarden. And can do my final internship at Wadudu in Beilen. Here I am doing research to make mealworms last longer. Live, fresh mealworms can only be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. This is because the mealworm contains a lot of moisture, this moisture creates a bacteria and fungal growth with a high aw value. To prevent this, the moisture must therefore be removed. I try to do this by cleaning, freezing, blanching, drying and then grinding the mealworms. This is how I make a kind of pasta / jelly. If the mealworm is not frozen, blanched and dried, a maillard reaction occurs. This is a brown / black coloring of the mealworms, for example an apple. If you cut open an apple, a brown layer will form on the apple after a while.
I am not only involved in making a paste / jelly, but I also look after the total picture. For example, the maillard is stimulated by starch. Mealworms also contain starch. Starch is a carbohydrate that is converted in the body into glucose. I am investigating whether there is an alternative as food for mealworms that contain less starch.
We work at home because of Corona. I try to do as much as possible from home, this works well. Sometimes I have to pass up things like microbiological testing. Unfortunately I cannot do this at home because of the missing materials