Edible Insects Taking Off

edible insects

The food industry is buzzing over a new trend that could completely change our primary source of protein. If you haven’t yet tried insects, it could be happening sooner than you think.

Introducing insects into your diet doesn’t necessarily mean snacking on worms and grasshoppers during your coffee break. Instead, we all may soon be swapping regular flour for alternatives like cricket flour or ground mealworms in both savoury and sweet products. Insect flours offer great alternatives to protein powders; they can be processed into a product that is versatile, high in nutrients and, most importantly for most consumers, does not resemble an insect at all. We can also see uses in up and coming trend 3D food printing, where insect flours can be used and modified to add much needed protein in specialty foods. What is really shaking up the food industry is that insects may offer a better and more sustainable source of protein than their bovine rivals. Once we have overcome the primary hurdle of using insects in food (our reluctance to try it), we can start to reap the numerous benefits.

As well as being a versatile product, insects are also an extremely sustainable source of nutrients. They offer an excellent alternative to cattle, which require large amounts of feed, land and water. The common British water boatman, for example, contains four times more iron than beef and certain African caterpillars contain more protein than can be found in the same quantity of chicken. Insects also have a higher efficiency of conversion. As they are cold blooded, they do not require energy to maintain their body temperatures and so can convert more for growth. More efficient use of feed for growth means that in total less feed is required to create the same quantity of protein found in chicken or beef. Overall, the effect is that we can use less land for growing feed and for keeping insects and we have a sustainable source of nutrients. In a marketplace that demands sustainable food sources, it is easy to see why using insects might take off.

Insect flours and powder, as well as whole insects, can be heat treated by the Revtech system to add flavour and to make them bacterial safe, destroying eggs, larvae and pathogenic bacteria without damaging the essential nutrients. For more information call Holmach Ltd on 01780 749097 or email info@holmach.co.uk .


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