The influence of synthetic food additives and surfactants on the body weight of larvae of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae)

  • V. O. Martynov Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
  • V. V. Brygadyrenko Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
Keywords: source materials, taste modifiers, food colourings, sweeteners, body weight, healthy diet


The broad spectrum of negative effects of food additives and surfactants on living organisms and the environment in general indicate a necessity of a detailed study on this issue. The aim of this article is to evaluate the impact of food additives and surfactants in a concentration of 350 mg/kg of fodder on the body weight of third age Tenebrio molitor Linnaeus, 1758 (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae) larvae. A significant change in the body weight of T. molitor larvae was observed when they consumed a diet containing 350 mg/kg of sodium glutamate, sodium cyclamate and sodium benzoate. We observed a tendency towards increase in body weight after addition of the food colouring Allura Red, saccharin, benzoic acid, betaine, emulsifying wax, AOS and SLES, and also we observed a decrease in body weight after addition of Tartrazine and Indigo Carmine in the same concentration. Out of the 18 tested food additives, 3 significantly stimulated an increase in the body weight of third age T. molitor larvae, and 3 manifested the same effect at the level of tendency (stimulated an increase in mass on average by 43–58% over the 14-day experiment), and 2 caused decrease in the body weight of larvae. Also, the 4 studied surfactants manifested a tendency towards increase in the body weight of T. molitor. This study on the impact of food additives and surfactants on organisms of insects is of great significance for protecting rare species of insects. 


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