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Toxicol Rep. 2018 Jun 2;5:695-703. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2018.06.001. eCollection 2018.

Toxicological safety evaluation of freeze-dried Protaetia brevitarsis larva powder.

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Department of Toxicological Evaluation and Research, Korea Institute of Toxicology (KIT), 141 Gajeong-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 34114, Republic of Korea.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 34134, Republic of Korea.
Graduate School of Integrated Bioindustry, Sejong University, 209 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, 05006, Republic of Korea.
Department of Agricultural Biology Applied Entomology Division, National Institute of Agricultural Science, 166, Nongsaengmyong-ro, Iseo-myeon, Wanju-gun, Jeollabuk-do, 55365, Republic of Korea.


White-spotted flower chafer (Protaetia brevitarsis) is an edible insect and its larva was used as a traditional Asian medicine. It's a promising material as a novel food source because of its nutritional components. In this study, as part of the preclinical toxicity program, we evaluated the toxicity of freeze-dried P. brevitarsis larva powder to develop a novel food material. In a single-dose oral toxicity study in rats, there were no changes in mortality, clinical observations, and body weight in rats administered 5000 mg/kg P. brevitarsis larva powder. In a 13-week oral repeated dose toxicity study in rats, there were no adverse effects or changes in mortality, clinical observations, body weight, food consumption, ophthalmology, clinical pathology, necropsy, organ weight, and histopathology at doses of 300, 1000, and 3000 mg/kg/day. In identification of allergic reactions, P. brevitarsis larva powder induced no increases of serum immunoglobulin E and histamine concentrations over 13 weeks of oral administration in rats. In a genotoxicity assessment, P. brevitarsis larva powder didn't provoke bacterial reverse mutations, chromosomal aberrations, and micronucleated reticulocytes. Therefore, freeze-dried P. brevitarsis larva powder shows no evidence of toxic and mutagenic changes under the experimental conditions of the present in vitro and in vivo studies.


13-week oral toxicity; Edible insect; Genotoxicity; Protaetia brevitarsis larva; Single-dose oral toxicity

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