Alternative Proteins

Cricket flour finds a new use in bakery products.

Insect protein based products are definitely on a roll. They have excellent nutritional value, their feed conversion ratio is much better than livestock and they take up far less space and consume far less resources.

This has prompted many studies and the latest study from Italy shows that cricket flour is a viable additive for bread manufacture. Indeed it improves the  nutritional profile in terms of fatty acid composition, protein content and essential amino acids. 10% cricket flour proved to be the sweet spot, with untrained sensory panelists preferring this product.

The only downside was the occurrence of some spore forming bacteria in the cricket flour loaves. “The scientists did overcome this hurdle, though, through the use of preventive treatments like blenching or microwave drying the insect powder before adding it to the bread.” These findings highlight that commercial manufacture of these products requires close attention. 

Over 2.5bn people in the world eat insects but Western countries have no recent history of consuming insects. This study has shown that insect protein can be incorporated in everyday products as an ingredient rather than as more confrontational whole insects.

Overall insect proteins have great potential to help feed our ever increasing world population.

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