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This study investigated the effects of enzyme concentration and hydrolysis time on improving the functional properties of cricket protein. The goal was to develop alternative sustainable protein from insects. Cricket protein was hydrolyzed using two proteolytic enzymes: Neutrase 0.8L and Alcalase 2.4L. We tested enzyme concentrations of 1.5 and 3.0%(w/w), and exposure times of 45 and 90 min. For both enzymes, the percentage yield increased as the enzyme concentration and hydrolysis time increased. The protein content of Neutrase-produced hydrolysate was higher (>80%) than that of Alcalase-produced hydrolysate (>70%). The highest degree of hydrolysis (DH) was 38.8% for Alcalase (at 3.0%, 90 min) and 70.2% for Neutrase (at 3.0%, 90 min). Both were higher than control (17.8% at 90 min). Hydrolysis by both enzymes improved the solubility of cricket protein hydrolysates over a range of pH values, exhibiting >56% soluble protein at pH 3 and >90% at pH 7 and 8. The hydrolysates had good foaming capacity (36.56% and 28.23%) and emulsification properties (44.03% and 44.47%). Emulsion stability and foaming stability were greatly high, exceeding 96% and 97.96%. These improvements in the functional properties of cricket protein hydrolysates give them potential uses in a range of food products.
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