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Scientists are making bread from dead cockroach flour

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Would you eat a dead cockroach? Probably not. In fact, neither would Brazilian scientists Andressa Lucas and Lauren Menegon. But in a final research paper for their food engineering degrees, the young scientists chose to explore the nutritional possibilities of insects. In this case, the rich protein content of cockroach flour, reported Plus 55 (Brazil).

Lucas and Menegon picked the cockroach because it has the highest protein content – nearly 70 percent. Furthermore, cockroach flour actually has 40 percent more protein than regular flour. The insect flour also contains eight of the nine essential amino acids. It’s got good fatty acids too, for example omega-3 and -9. Finally, scientists can use practically all of the flour, without any residue leftover.

The cockroaches used for the flour come from laboratories where they undergo full inspection by the Brazilian health authority (Anvisa). Of course, people still hesitate before eating the insect bread. But once they do, it’s actually quite difficult to taste the difference. In fact, adding ten percent cockroach flour to average bread recipe increases protein content by 50 percent. Meanwhile, the difference in taste is imperceptible.

Now, after a successful run with cockroaches, Brazilian food engineers are turning to crickets and mealworm beetles for their next project.

According to the U.N., there won’t be sufficient land left for the entire world population’s food production by the year 2050. As for insect breeding, less land and water is necessary. In addition, insect production emits less greenhouse gases than other animals or crops. Furthermore, insect flour leaves behind no waste, as it can be used in its entirety.

So while eating cockroaches may seem pretty gross, we might want to start getting used to the idea.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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