Why Cricket Protein is the Future (& Not Just For Your Dog)
An excerpt from Functional, Antioxidant, and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cricket Protein Concentrate (Gryllus assimilis) by María Fernanda Quinteros, Jenny Martínez, Alejandra Barrionuevo, Marcelo Rojas and Wilman Carrillo
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The demand for consumption of protein of animal and vegetable origin increases with the growth of the world population. Therefore, new sources of animal protein that are nutritious, safe and sustainable for the environment are needed.
In this situation, edible insects become a very attractive alternative due to their high protein content, their good functional and biological properties, and their environmental sustainability.
Insects as food are not attractive to consumers who do not have them incorporated into their food culture, but products derived from them are accepted by consumers and can be used as functional ingredients by the food industry. Insect protein isolates and concentrates can be used as functional ingredients.
The main objective of this work was to obtain protein concentrate from cricket (Gryllus assimilis) flour to evaluate their functional and biological properties. In addition to characterizing its protein profile and digestibility.
It has been projected that by 2030 the world population could grow to around 8.6 billion and by the year 2050 it will grow to 9.8 billion people on the planet with a demand of 70% of animal protein. This situation suggests that different societies seek new sources of animal and vegetable protein with high nutritional quality that are also sustainable for the environment.
Insects can be a good alternative for food protein with sustainable production. In the near future, insects may become an important source of protein for the human diet and their production is also environmentally sustainable.
Many consumers have a certain reluctance to include insects in their diet, therefore their derivatives are an excellent alternative so that they can be used by the food industry. These transformations can be in the form of protein concentrates. In addition to containing a high protein content and high gastrointestinal digestibility, CPCs have added biological values such as a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power which could be due to their high content of phenolic compounds.
The functional properties allow evaluating the possible uses of the isolates as ingredients in food products. In future research, the different proteins of the CPC, the peptides of the hydrolysates, and the phenolic compounds could be identified with the help of mass spectrometry.