Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Edible insects are the future?

  • Arnold van Huis (a1)
Abstract

The global increase in demand for meat and the limited land area available prompt the search for alternative protein sources. Also the sustainability of meat production has been questioned. Edible insects as an alternative protein source for human food and animal feed are interesting in terms of low greenhouse gas emissions, high feed conversion efficiency, low land use, and their ability to transform low value organic side streams into high value protein products. More than 2000 insect species are eaten mainly in tropical regions. The role of edible insects in the livelihoods and nutrition of people in tropical countries is discussed, but this food source is threatened. In the Western world, there is an increasing interest in edible insects, and examples are given. Insects as feed, in particular as aquafeed, have a large potential. Edible insects have about the same protein content as conventional meat and more PUFA. They may also have some beneficial health effects. Edible insects need to be processed and turned into palatable dishes. Food safety may be affected by toxicity of insects, contamination with pathogens, spoilage during conservation and allergies. Consumer attitude is a major issue in the Western world and a number of strategies are proposed to encourage insect consumption. We discuss research pathways to make insects a viable sector in food and agriculture: an appropriate disciplinary focus, quantifying its importance, comparing its nutritional value to conventional protein sources, environmental benefits, safeguarding food safety, optimising farming, consumer acceptance and gastronomy.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Edible insects are the future?
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Edible insects are the future?
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Edible insects are the future?
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Corresponding author: A. van Huis, email arnold.vanhuis@wur.nl
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

4. AL Yen (2015) Insects as food and feed in the Asia Pacific region: current perspectives and future directions. J. Insects Food Feed 1, 3355.

8. VB Meyer-Rochow & S Changkija (1997) Uses of insects as human food in Papua New Guinea, Australia and North-East India: cross-cultural considerations and cautious conclusions. Ecol Food Nutr 36, 159185.

12. MW Rosegrant , S Tokgoz & P Bhandary (2012) The new normal? A tighter global agricultural supply and demand relation and its implications for food security. Am J Agric Econ 95, 303309.

15. A Van Huis (2013) Potential of insects as food and feed in assuring food security. Annu Rev Entomol 58, 563583.

17. H Looy , FV Dunkel & JR Wood (2014) How then shall we eat? Insect-eating attitudes and sustainable foodways. Agric Hum Values 31, 131141.

18. AJ Hamilton , Y Basset , KK Benke (2010) Quantifying uncertainty in estimation of tropical arthropod species richness. Am Nat 176, 9095.

20. JE Losey & M Vaughan (2006) The economic value of ecological services provided by insects. BioScience 56, 311323.

21. GR DeFoliart (1999) Insects as food: why the western attitude is important. Annu Rev Entomol 44, 2150.

26. MC Eisler , MR Lee , JF Tarlton (2014) Agriculture: steps to sustainable livestock. Nature 507, 3234.

28. F Hedenus , S Wirsenius & DA Johansson (2014) The importance of reduced meat and dairy consumption for meeting stringent climate change targets. Clim Change 124, 7991.

29. M Van der Spiegel , MY Noordam & HJ Van der Fels-Klerx (2013) Safety of novel protein sources (insects, microalgae, seaweed, duckweed, and rapeseed) and legislative aspects for their application in food and feed production. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Safety 12, 662678.

30. DGAB Oonincx , J Van Itterbeeck , MJW Heetkamp (2010) An exploration on greenhouse gas and ammonia production by insect species suitable for animal or human consumption. PLos ONE 5, e14445.

32. T Abbasi , T Abbasi & SA Abbasi (2015) Reducing the global environmental impact of livestock production: the minilivestock option. J Cleaner Prod 112, 17541766.

34. M Randrianandrasana & MR Berenbaum (2015) Edible non-crustacean arthropods in rural communities of Madagascar. J Ethnobiol 35, 354383.

35. SGF Bukkens (1997) The nutritional value of edible insects. Ecol Food Nutr 36, 287319.

38. C Dzerefos & EF Witkowski (2015) Crunchtime: sub-Saharan stinkbugs, a dry season delicacy and cash cow for impoverished rural communities. Food Sec 7, 919925.

40. CLR. Payne Wild harvesting declines as pesticides and imports rise: the collection and consumption of insects in contemporary rural Japan. J Insects Food Feed 2015;1, 5765.

48. A Van Huis , HV Gurp & M Dicke (2014) The Insect Cookbook. New York: Columbia University Press.

54. ER Lock , T Arsiwalla & R Waagbø (2015) Insect larvae meal as an alternative source of nutrients in the diet of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) postsmolt. Aquacult Nutr. (Epublication ahead of print version).

66. EA Fasakin , AM Balogun & OO Ajayi (2003) Evaluation of full-fat and defatted maggot meals in the feeding of clariid catfish Clarias gariepinus fingerlings. Aquacult Res 34, 733738.

67. WK Ng , FL Liew , LP Ang (2001) Potential of mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) as an alternative protein source in practical diets for African catfish, Clarias gariepinus . Aquacult Res 32, Suppl. 1, 273280.

69. WM Sealey , TG Gaylord , FT Barrows (2011) Sensory analysis of Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, fed enriched Black soldier fly prepupae, Hermetia illucens . J World Aquacult Soc 42, 3445.

72. PB Durst & Y Hanboonsong (2015) Small-scale production of edible insects for enhanced food security and rural livelihoods: experience from Thailand and Lao People's Democratic Republic. J Insects Food Feed 1, 2531.

74. J Ramos-Elorduy , EA Gonzalez , AR Hernandez (2002) Use of Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) to recycle organic wastes and as feed for broiler chickens. J Econ Entomol 95, 214220.

75. S Van Broekhoven , DGAB Oonincx , A Van Huis (2015) Growth performance and feed conversion efficiency of three edible mealworm species (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) on diets composed of organic by-products. J Insect Physiol 73 (online version). doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2014.12.005.

76. ME Lundy & MP Parrella (2015) Crickets are not a free lunch: protein capture from scalable organic side-streams via high-density populations of Acheta domesticus . PLoS ONE 10, e0118785.

79. L Yi , CMM Lakemond , LMC Sagis (2013) Extraction and characterisation of protein fractions from five insect species. Food Chem 141, 33413348.

81. G DeFoliart (1992) Insect as human food; Gene DeFoliart discusses some nutritional and economic aspects. Crop Prot 11, 395399.

82. RS Gibson (2015) Dietary-induced zinc deficiency in low income countries: challenges and solutions The Avanelle Kirksey Lecture at Purdue University. Nutr Today 50, 4955.

84. DL Christensen , FO Orech , MN Mungai (2006) Entomophagy among the Luos of Kenya: a potential mineral source? Int J Food Sci Nutr 57, 198203.

86. JK Skau , B Touch , C Chhoun (2015) Effects of animal source food and micronutrient fortification in complementary food products on body composition, iron status, and linear growth: a randomized trial in Cambodia. Am J Clin Nutr 101, 742751.

87. FB Piel , SI Hay , S Gupta (2013) Global burden of sickle cell anaemia in children under five, 2010–2050: modelling based on demographics, excess mortality, and interventions. PLoS Med 10, e1001484.

90. NA Ushakova , VM Kovalzon , AI Bastrakov (2015) The ability of Alphitobius diaperinus homogenates immobilized on plant sorbent to block the development of mouse parkinsonism. Dokl Biochem Biophys 461, 9497.

94. CM Dzerefos , ETF Witkowski & R Toms (2013) Comparative ethnoentomology of edible stinkbugs in southern Africa and sustainable management considerations. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed 9, 20.

103. KCM Verhoeckx , S Van Broekhoven , CF den Hartog-Jager (2014) House dust mite (Der p 10) and crustacean allergic patients may react to food containing Yellow mealworm proteins. Food Chem Toxicol 65, 364373.

105. MP Pener (2014) Allergy to locusts and acridid grasshoppers: a review. J Orthoptera Res 23, 5967.

107. A Stamer (2015) Insect proteins—a new source for animal feed. EMBO Rep. 16, 676680.

108. SB Ramaswamy (2015) Setting the table for a hotter, flatter, more crowded earth: insects on the menu? J Insects Food Feed 1, 171178.

112. W Verbeke (2015) Profiling consumers who are ready to adopt insects as a meat substitute in a Western society. Food Qual Preference 39, 147155.

113. HSG Tan , ARH Fischer , P Tinchan (2015) Insects as food: exploring cultural exposure and individual experience as determinants of acceptance. Food Qual Preference 42, 7889.

114. EJS Lensvelt & LPA Steenbekkers (2014) Exploring consumer acceptance of entomophagy: a survey and experiment in Australia and the Netherlands. Ecol Food Nutr 53, 543561.

117. R Caparros Megido , L Sablon , M Geuens (2014) Edible insects acceptance by Belgian consumers: promising attitude for entomophagy development. J Sens Stud 29, 1420.

121. PP Miglietta , FD Leo , M Ruberti & S Massari (2015) Mealworms for food: a water footprint perspective. Water, 7, 61906203.

124. Y Yang , L Tang , L Tong (2009) Silkworms culture as a source of protein for humans in space. Adv Space Res 43, 12361242.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
  • ISSN: 0029-6651
  • EISSN: 1475-2719
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-nutrition-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 192
Total number of PDF views: 967 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 2121 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.