Insect based food is something we are seeing pop up more and more around the world. As the name suggests, this is any type of food that uses insects as one of its primary ingredients. This could be in a meal, snack, or drink, but it will offer consumers a new way to increase their protein intake. Insect based food is a way for us to find a new source of protein that doesn’t require the use of animals or huge amounts of land. Keep reading to discover more about insect based food and the products which are on offer to individuals worldwide today.
Insect Based Protein
Over the past decade, there has been more interest in using insects as a protein source for both humans and animals. With growing concerns surrounding the environment and the impact of eating animals has on our planet, it’s no surprise that we are looking for future protein sources to feed the growing population. Insect protein food can be consumed during any meal of the day and offers a way to meet your daily protein goals to help grow and repair your muscles.
Many insects can be used for this purpose, but one of the most common types of insects that are consumed within insect based products are black soldier flies, mealworms and crickets. When compared to other protein sources, such as eggs and chicken, an NCBI research report shared, “At the upper range, insects provide more protein than even meat and chicken eggs.” This is a valuable option for future generations, as we may struggle to have enough land to grow these more traditional protein sources.
The good thing about insect based protein compared to typical protein sources is that it’s much quicker and easier to grow. The eggs hatch quickly and grow into larvae, which can then feed off the organic waste in order to minimize the food that’s needed for your protein. When the insects are harvested, they can then be made into oil or meal, which have a very high protein content and plenty of amino acids. The process can then be repeated over and over again using the residue as fertilizer, meaning there is very little impact on the environment when creating this protein source.
Insect Based Products
The world of insect based products is one that is constantly evolving, and we are excited to see the new insect based snacks that are added to the market year after year. In the EU, North America, and Canada, we are seeing a wide range of insect based products that can now be consumed as a regular part of your diet. As these products become more readily available, we only expect them to become more affordable and accessible to the population. One of the most common products we see is insect flour, particularly cricket flour. This is made from pulverized and freeze-dried insects and can be used as a high-protein substitute for typical flour products. A unique product that we’ve also seen is an insect burger. This would be eaten instead of a hamburger and is made from insect powder or insect flour. Common insects used for this purpose include house crickets or mealworms.
If you are looking to boost your protein intake following a workout, you might want to consider protein bars, which are typically made from insect powder from house crickets. Insect pasta can also be used as a substitute for traditional pasta and is fortified with insect flour. Insect snacks are also becoming increasingly found on the market, with crisps and small snacks made from insects offering a handy way to increase your protein intake on the go. Finally, insect bread is a bread product that is baked with insect flour and once again uses house crickets typically. There are always new products coming to the insect based snacks, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this industry in 2022.
How Much Insects Are Allowed In Food?
When it comes to creating insect based meat or insect based protein powder, one of the most commonly asked questions we receive is how much insects are allowed in food? It’s no surprise that consumers are concerned about the number of insects in their food products. One thing you might not know about typical food products is that they are actually allowed to have insect fragments in them as standard. These small insect fragments are unlikely to do any harm, and they are commonly found in peanut butter or jam products in the US.
As the insect based food market is such a new industry, it’s hard to know how much this is regulated. Insect based protein varies in its insect content, but the main concern is ensuring there isn’t so much insect in the product that it could cause some type of adverse reaction. Studies suggest that some insects, such as beetles and silkworms, could be disruptive to the human body if they are consumed in too high quantities. Beetles could disrupt our hormones or could contain too much heavy metal. Allergens and pesticides are other concerns within the insect based food industry, but as time goes on, we’ll likely find there are more regulations put in place. Right now, very few humans are consuming these products in quantities that could be dangerous to their health. The other consideration is the shelf life of insect based protein, but this is something that will likely garner further research in the future.
It’s an exciting time for the insect based food industry, and no doubt 2022 will be the year we see even more insect based products and snacks enter the market. Insects are one of the best sources of protein for future generations, and you can be sure we’ll rely on them more and more as time goes on. We are always on the lookout for new insect based snacks and are ready to give them a try when they become readily available. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with any developments in this field in the future, so keep checking back for further updates.