All things bugs... So what if you want to try some insect flour?
By Elaine Watson
- Last updated on
So where can manufacturers get hold of some insect flour to play with?
One man who can help is Dr Aaron T Dossey, Georgia-based bug enthusiast and founder of All Things Bugs, who is working with a contract manufacturer in the northeast to produce ingredients (initially whole cricket powder, but in future a whole bunch of other bug-based products from meal-worm powders to meat replacements) using his patented process.
Unlike some other cricket crushers, Dr Dossey grinds the frozen insects before drying and heat treating them to kill any microbes. This is more efficient than drying the whole insects and then milling them, he claims, as it requires less heat (insect bodies are made to withstand heat and conserve moisture) and preserves more nutrients.
Speaking immediately after Crowley, Dr Dossey said that the fat and protein content of the bugs depended on several factors, from the stage at which they are killed.
For mealworms it's easiest to harvest them at larvae stage, when they are higher in fat; for crickets, farmers tend to harvest adult insects, which are lean and very high in protein (Dr Dossey's whole cricket powder has 63g of protein per 100g serving).
And it could be even higher, says Dr Dossey, who has developed several ways to separate the insects' muscle tissue from their exoskeletons, potentially boosting the protein fraction in his ingredients still further.
While research into bug foods is in its embryonic stages, All Things Bugs has not found Eschericha coli, Salmonella sp., Staphylococcus aureus, or Listeria sp. in any shipments of raw frozen insects from some of the largest US cricket and mealworm farms, while the coliform/total plate count is also reasonably low, he added.
"Also, pasteurization appears to reduce total plate count to very low and possibly nearly sterile levels."
Click HERE to read Hank Schultz's recent interview with Dr Dossey on FoodNavigator-USA.