About Tenebrio molitor

The mealworm, an alternative protein with numerous benefits

Tenebrio Molitor

The mealworm

Over 150 million years old and with a high content of protein, fatty acids, phosphorus and calcium, the mealworm is a sustainable, healthy and safe option for both human and animal nutrition.

As well, 100% of its components and by-products are useable, either as natural biofertilizers or for biotechnological, pharmaceutical and cosmetic uses.

a la izquierda hay gusanos tenebrio molitor o tambien llamados Mealworm y a la derecha hay un cuenco con harina de gusano alta en proteínas

Mealworm life cycle


The eggs of the Tenebrio molitor, or mealworm, are white, bean-shaped, and about the size of a speck of dust. It has an average hatching time of 1 to 4 weeks.

Larval Stage

This stage is the one of greatest interest in the production of protein for livestock purposes, as well as for the production of high-quality healthy food for humans and pets. The larval stage lasts between 8 and 10 weeks.


This is the transition stage between the larval stage and the adult stage of the beetle. In this state, the insect remains motionless and feeds on the reserves accumulated during the larval stage. It lasts between 1 and 3 weeks.

Imagen que muestra el ciclo de crecimiento del Tenebrio molitor Protiberia

Adult Beetle

The final stage of the Tenebrio molitor life cycle, the beetle phase lasts between 8 and 12 weeks. In this phase, the beetle is sexually active and a single female can lay up to 500 eggs. Its exoskeleton is used to extract chitin, a highly in-demand substance in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Have questions? Ask us!

A superfood with countless benefits

The mealworm, Tenebrio molitor, is certified by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) for human consumption and is a more sustainable food than traditional protein sources.


Over 50% protein


High-quality unsaturated fats


Vitamins A, D2, D3, E, C, B2 and B9


Iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and zinc


Easily digestible

Commitment to the environment

Positively impacting nature

The use of Tenebrio molitor not only benefits people and animals while solving the protein crisis of the future, but it also preserves the environment by reducing water consumption and avoiding the emission of greenhouse gases. Breeding only requires a little space and does not generate any waste.

It is a healthier option, as well as cleaner and more sustainable.

Learn more about us

What is the mealworm used for?

Animal consumption

Tenebrio molitor is the perfect food for non-ruminant livestock, birds, fish and pets. It provides energy and healthy protein while supporting local industry and leaving a smaller ecological footprint than traditional feed, which is typically imported.

mealworms for food for pets
A pile of brown eggs in a nest

Human consumption

Tenebrio molitor flour has been labelled a superfood (a nutrient-dense food with countless benefits) and is capable of providing much of the protein, fat and other nutrients that the human body demands.


Tenebrio molitor is an excellent substitute for fishmeal, making a healthier fish feed. This insect contributes to the better growth of fish species and is a more sustainable option for the future.

aquaculture and mealworms
The use of frass as biofertilizer


The frass produced by the mealworm stimulates the growth of plants and crops, protects them from pests, improves the absorption of nutrients and, being 100% natural, is suitable for use in organic farming.

Other uses

Chitin, which is obtained from the adult beetle phase of the insect, has many useful properties, which makes it a key component used in the biotechnological, industrial, pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors.


If you want to invest in Protiberia, be our partner or collaborate with us in any way, get in touch. We would love to include you!

Contact us


  • Is the mealworm a safe food for human consumption?

    Yes, it is a healthy, sustainable and safe food. It was certified by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on January 13, 2021, as a safe food for human consumption in Europe

  • How can the Tenebrio molitor, or mealworm, be consumed?

    Tenebrio molitor is processed into flour that can be used in a wide variety of food products. It can also be turned into snacks or sports supplements for athletes. The possibilities are numerous; it’s possible to develop many quality, tasty and healthy products using the raw material of the mealworm

  • Why is Tenebrio molitor a better alternative than the use of conventional fertilizers?

    The mealworm, in addition to being 100% organic and natural, favours the growth of crops. Because the Tenebrio molitor’s droppings (frass) have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, it also protects the plants from pests and pathogens

  • Does the mealworm provide enough protein to an animal or is it necessary to combine it with a more traditional source?

     The Tenebrio molitor protein is a complement to the usual protein sources. This means that it is not a substitute but an addition that, when combined with others, improves our health and protects the environment

  • Did you know that more than 2 billion people eat insects every day?

    They are a protein-rich food that will help solve the future problem of overpopulation and are already consumed in the form of flour, snacks, supplements, etc. At Protiberia we are committed to the Tenebrio molitor insect, a sustainable superfood that contains proteins, vitamins and minerals.