Earthworms have been a traditional medicine in China for at least 2300 years. Because of medicine food homology in China, people have been using earthworms as a food for several centuries. Earthworms are rich in protein and various amino acids; the protein content of earthworm meal was 54.6–59.4% on dry weight. Their protein content and amino acid composition are better than those of fish meal, cow milk and soybean meal. The crude fat content of earthworm meal was 7.34%. Earthworm protein is easily hydrolyzed into free amino acids. The hydrolyzed body fluids contain 9.34% protein and 78.73 mg of free amino acids per liter of raw fluid and are rich in vitamins and minerals. By the fast development of molecular biological techniques, more Verm pharmaceuticals and functional components were isolated from earthworms. An antibacterial peptide and a functional earthworm powder were introduced in this paper. In short, based on its nutrient content and functional components, earthworms could be an excellent raw material source as homology of medicine and food for human use, especially as functional food in the future.
Part of the book: Future Foods